IBM Quickly Fills VP of iSeries Marketing Position
January 30, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
As he promised two weeks ago, iSeries general manager Mark Shearer moved fast and quickly replaced his recently departed vice president of iSeries marketing, Peter Bingaman. Late last Friday, IBM announced that is has brought Elaine Lennox over to the iSeries team to take on that role.
The great thing about Bingaman is that he had energy, and it was under during his watch that IBM significantly boosted its marketing and advertising spending on the iSeries, for the first time since anyone can remember. And Shearer said he understood that he needed to have someone with energy, and he went out to find someone within IBM who fit the bill. “Elaine is an energetic and passionate leader who will help take our business to the next level of success,” Shearer said in a statement. “In her new role, Elaine will help accelerate the momentum we’ve created by increasing awareness of iSeries, enhancing our success in the SMB marketplace, and further strengthening and extending the iSeries solutions ecosystem.”
I know Lennox because she was previously vice president of SMB sales for IBM’s servers and storage products and often walked me through BladeCenter blade server announcements. Having an SMB background will be important for the iSeries job, I think, since I believe sometimes IBM has engineered a very nice Unix-class solution it thinks is aimed at small customers, but they do not have Unix-sized budgets. There is a reason that Windows is the dominant server platform today and Linux is the fastest growing one, after all. If IBM wants to grow the iSeries business, it will have to do so by making the iSeries appealing to really small businesses–the ones with tiny IT budgets and stingy owners.
Prior to the VP of SMB job within IBM’s Systems and Technology Group, Lennox led marketing and partner programs for IBM’s cross-divisional Small and Medium Business organization. All those Express product offerings you see? That was her doing. She also created the Small and Medium Business Advantage business partner program, which IBM launched to do a better job selling into the SMB space with its resellers. Before joining IBM in 1999, Lennox was marketing director of a little-known startup peddling server appliances called Whistle Communications, which Big Blue bought that year. She was also a manager of servers at Hewlett-Packard, managing that company’s Intel-based servers, and was responsible for creating HP’s first network servers and systems management programs. (HP subsequently bought Compaq, of course.) Before this, she was a European marketing manager for HP out of its Grenoble, France. Lennox has an advanced degree from Grenoble Graduate School of Business and has her bachelor of science degree from the Aston Business School in England.
I’ll be picking her brains next week to see what she plans to do. Stay tuned.