IBM Reshuffles Several Top Execs

CFO John Joyce was among those moved to new spots in what the company says is a part of a longstanding strategy.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

May 3, 2004

2 Min Read

IBM Corp. replaced its chief financial officer and head of global sales Monday but described the moves as a regular reshuffling of responsibilities within the technology giant.

John Joyce, 50, chief financial officer since 1999, is becoming head of the services division, which accounts for half of IBM's revenue but has seen profit margins shrink in recent quarters. He replaces Doug Elix, 55, who is taking over as the head of sales for the technology giant.

That position had been held by Michael Lawrie, 50, who left Big Blue to become CEO at Siebel Systems Inc.

IBM's new CFO is Mark Loughridge, 50, who had been senior vice president for global financing and previously was IBM's controller. Loughridge joined IBM in 1977 as an engineer.

In a letter to top executives, IBM's chairman and chief executive Sam Palmisano said the shifts were designed to hone the way disparate divisions deal with customers.

"The intent of these leadership changes is straightforward--to step up the pace of our marketplace execution and accelerate our strategic growth plans," he wrote.

Several analysts found the moves surprising but not worrisome, noting that Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM often tries to circulate top executives. The two previous chief financial officers held the job for less than two years.

"From our contacts and discussions with management, we do not believe the reshuffling reflects negatively on these managers or on their recent performance," Deutsche Bank analyst George Elling wrote in a research report.

IBM shares were down 15 cents to close at $88.02 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The shakeup also put Elix in charge of IBM's operating team, an organization of senior executives who represent the company's business units. That role had been held by Palmisano, but Palmisano wanted to give Elix additional responsibilities, IBM spokesman John Bukovinsky said. Palmisano remains on the committee.

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