IBM Executive Reorg: Forges Cognitive Systems, Merges Cloud And Analytics

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After two years of heading the cloud division, and 36 years with IBM, Cloud senior vice president, Robert LeBlanc will be retiring from the company. As anticipated this news had set off a chain-reaction of executive reorganization.

The changes transform Cloud as Hybrid Cloud, which now is put under combined Cognitive Solutions and research leadership at IBM.

The IBM Cloud was constructed by merging SoftLayer with Watson and its application hosting business. Over the years LeBlanc climbed the ranks of IBM to eventually take over several senior executive roles. Leblanc even took over SoftLayer for IBM when their founder, Lance Crosby, departed in January 2015.

Power Systems, which will be run by Bob Picciano, has also been restructured and given a new name, Cognitive Systems. Picciano has been in charge of analytics software and some Watson services. He will not report to Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president of IBM Systems, who is considered second only to CEO Ginni Rometty and her possible successor, according to The Next Platform.

“We are aggressively reinventing our systems portfolio for cloud, data and AI,” Rometty said in a memo to employees obtained by The Next Platform. “The centerpiece of Cognitive Systems is our Power franchise, which is vital to so many clients and ecosystem partners. Having envisioned and transformed our data and analytics portfolio, Bob is ideally suited for this role.”

Arvind Krishna, vice president and director of IBM research, has also been named the new senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud, a merger of the two divisions previously run by Picciano and Leblanc.

IBM recently reported that cloud revenues were up 33 percent to $4.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016.

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