I have a new job!

October 6 2008

IBM personnel announcements aren't normally a topic for this blog.  However, Earlier today, Kevin Cavanaugh, Vice President - Messaging and Collaboration, and Michael Garbett, Director - Worldwide Sales, announced that I have been promoted to Director, End-User Messaging and Collaboration.  I guess that qualifies as relevant to this audience Image:I have a new job!.

Effectively immediately, I am now responsible for key end-user focused products and offerings, including Lotus Notes/iNotes, Lotus Symphony, portions of Project "Atlantic", and a few other areas such as Traveler and our mobility story.  In this newly-created executive position, I will be managing a team of incredibly talented product, offering, and project managers, while working along-side equally-talented teams focused on the Domino server, Notes/Domino application development, Lotus Foundations, Lotus Protector, and other parts of the Lotus software portfolio.  Going beyond the individual products, though, my new job has a single, crystal-clear objective -- to continue and grow the Lotus brand's footprint and competitive stance in the end-user collaboration marketplace.

When I took the job of Business Unit Executive, Worldwide Lotus Notes Sales four years ago, I said:

I accepted this new role because I believe in the Notes/Domino product line, and because I believe in the future of Notes and Domino.  You can take this as a sign of IBM's commitment, too -- creation of a new leadership role, focused only on the products that some falsely, and foolishly, continue to claim are dead.  Let this posting be the decree -- it is now my job to ensure that you have what you need to understand where IBM/Lotus is going with the market-leading collaboration software.  I can't and won't be doing it all alone, of course...[b]ut I'll be more hands-on than ever, and ready to help you where and when I can.
That's all worked out pretty well.  Every single fiscal quarter since, IBM has posted year-to-year revenue growth for Notes and Domino.  Despite withering, sustained, buy-the-business attacks from the competition, as well as new market entrants, the Notes business is bigger than ever.  We've shipped Notes/Domino 6.5, 7, 7.0.2, 8, and are soon to ship 8.5.  Products like Lotus Symphony and Protector have been introduced, and new projects like "Atlantic" announced.  I've expanded my team and increased my own personal globalization.  

Now it is time to take that experience to the next level.  This is an incredible opportunity to step up and lead a key segment of the IBM Lotus product line.  For the last few weeks, it has been hard to relax -- too many new and exciting ideas bouncing around in my head.  While it will never be possible in an organization as large as IBM to take every good idea and make it happen, it is now my job to put forth every effort to continue the success of these products.  I am especially hopeful that, in this new role, I can work on or further the good ideas you all have shared with me.

There are so many people to thank for career guidance and advocacy over the last nine months -- mentors, IBM colleagues, partners, analysts, networking contacts, friends, and even competitors!  It would be impossible to name everyone here on the blog, so I will simply offer sincere public thanks to the many who have been a part of my career over the last 14 years at IBM Lotus.  One person deserves special appreciation, though -- my wife Deborah, whose inspiration and input was crucial throughout the process.   Thank you is also the least I can say collectively to the Lotus Community, your support has made the difference in the success of these products over the last four years.

Of course, I intend to continue to blog, and you can bet I'll be encouraging my new team to become more active online (some already are) going forward.  I know there have been occasional doubts in the social networking world as to whether IBM values participation... I can confidently say "yes", IBM's most-senior executives understand.  In the coming days, I'll discuss more about my journey to this point and my plans in my new role.  For now, it's off to Boston for a weekend of "leaf-peeping" and then meetings with my new team next week.  Have a great weekend everyone!

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