No April Fool's -- Earlier today, it was announced internally at IBM that Mike Rhodin is being promoted to General Manager, IBM North East Europe.  Though IBM doesn't typically "announce" personnel moves externally, I'm sure word of this is making its way around the Lotus community.  Executive moves at IBM are common, and this is the third such Lotus GM transition since I started blogging.

Given Rhodin's success, it's natural to see him move forward as an IBM executive. Mike now has the opportunity to get involved with the other segments of IBM's business.  I have been spending a lot of time in our Northeast Europe operating region this year (am here right now, in fact).  There is so much happening in technology in this region, and IBM has some really great customers across the entire geography.  Mike's leadership will help take all that to the next level.

In Mike's time as GM of Lotus, a lot has changed -- to the better.  The Notes business has grown for three years running -- every quarter of Mike's tenure.  Lotus introduced new products in new categories such as Connections, expanded the mission and market presence of Sametime, and made acquisitions (Bowstreet, Net Integration Technologies, and WebDialogs).  Mike wasn't afraid to tackle big challenges, including jettisoning the Workplace brand, merged those products into the existing product families, and increased investments in the Lotus brand and marketing.   Mike also personally has been the champion behind Lotus Symphony, a product which is once again driving the Lotus brand into end-user mindshare.

Mike has made a lot of changes inside of Lotus for the better as well.  He brought in great leaders for the various functions within Lotus.  He invested in usability, an area that had been lacking attention.  Mike extended himself into the community -- blogger Q&As at Lotusphere, podcasts, speaking at various Lotus-focused conferences and user groups.  In short, he turned the organization to offense, and it worked.

Mike's replacement is Bob Picciano, who has been the Vice President of Sales for Information Management (the DB2 brand).  As far as I can remember, we have not had a Lotus GM come in from a sales role.  But Bob is more than a "sales guy" -- his background includes DB2 product management, and he was at one point Lou Gerstner's technical assistant.  Bob also headed the DB2 partner and ISV enablement programs at one point, so he has a channel background, too.  (This bio is a few years old but gives you an idea of Bob's background).

As Bob Picciano gets settled into his new role, I will certainly have more to say about the new General Manager, Lotus Software (note: the internal announcement specifically says Lotus, not the internal acronym WPLC).  Bob, if you have found your way to the Lotus blogosphere already -- welcome to the team and the community.

Post a Comment