IBM Taps Software Exec For Power Systems Marketing
August 22, 2011 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It’s summer and that is the traditional time that IBM makes changes in its executive lineup. At the end of July last year, Big Blue merged its Systems and Technology Group and Software Group into one giant behemoth under general manager Steve Mills while also gluing back together two halves of the Global Services giant that were artificially separated a few years back. This year, the changes in the Power Systems division are a little less dramatic, but important nonetheless.
When IBM converged its System i and System p Power-based server units a number of years ago, the people running the AIX side of the business more or less took over, making it clear what Big Blue’s priorities were. In the wake of last year’s major reorganization of Big Blue–and due in part to the earlier retirement of Bill Zeitler, who used to run the AS/400 Division and who eventually ran all of IBM’s hardware businesses as general manager of Systems and Technology Group–the company quietly merged its Power Systems server division with its System z mainframe division, placing the converged non-X64 server lines under the control of general manager Tom Rosamilia, who used to run the WebSphere middleware division within Software Group before he was tapped to be GM of the System z mainframe division in 2009.
As part of the shuffling, Jeff Howard, a long-time marketing executive in the Power Systems division with a long history within IBM’s Austin, Texas, organization was named vice president of marketing for Power Systems, replacing Scott Handy. On July 25 of this year, Howard made a lateral move to the System x division (which also manages BladeCenter blade servers) to hold the vice president of marketing job for Big Blue’s X64-based business. The company is a big believer in cross-divisional training (and used to be big on cross-group training, too, but now there are only three IBM Groups: Systems and Software, Global Services, and Sales and Distribution), so Howard’s move is no surprise.
And it is no surprise, really, that Zarina Stanford is being tapped to replace Howard as vice president of marketing for the Power Systems division. Prior to coming over to Systems Group (which IBM still talks about as if they were separated sometimes), Stanford was director of demand programs for Software Group’s operations in North America and she automated and rejiggered Big Blue’s marketing operations. She was also in charge of marketing at IBM’s Tivoli systems management software unit a few years back, and has been involved in various IBM initiatives relating to autonomic and cloud computing, service management, security, and storage.
Stanford was born and raised in Hong Kong and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. She spent 15 years in the telecommunications and information technology industry in sales and marketing positions, with a specialty in customer relationship management systems. Stanford joined IBM as a regional sales manager in the Asia/Pacific region in 1998, leading a telecom segment and grew that business by a factor of three in one year.
In her new position, Stanford will be in charge of the go-to-market strategy and messaging, as IBM puts it, for the Power Systems line, covering both when the direct IBM sales force and Big Blue’s channel partners say and do to get the Power message out there.