1 August 2003 Systems giant IBM has demoted Mark Elliot, general manager of IBM Europe, following the region’s poor results in the company’s recently announced second quarter.
The move, say commentators, shows that Sam Palmisano, who took over as CEO of IBM in 2002, will not accept the weak economy as an excuse for poor performance and that he is prepared to act swiftly to ensure that IBM meets its financial targets.
Revenues at IBM EMEA were up 23% in the quarter, but most of that rise was due to currency adjustments. IBM chief financial officer John Joyce said that without the currency adjustments, revenues were only up 3%. The US posted revenues up 5% on a constant-currency basis and Asia/Pacific posted revenues up 6%.
Elliot, who had been in the job for less than two years, has now been moved into an independent software vendor (ISV) relationship role and the job of running IBM’s European operation has been passed to Hans-Ulrich Maerki, chairman of IBM Europe.
Maerki joined IBM Switzerland in 1974 as a part-time student intern and worked his way up to country general manager. Prior to becoming chairman of IBM Europe, he also headed up IBM Global Services EMEA.
Elliot is not the only senior level IBM-er to be moved aside in recent weeks. Palmisano has also relieved Michael Mayer, general manager of IBM’s microelectronics division, of his duties. Not only did the microelectronics division report heavy losses in the most recent quarter, IBM has also been suffering production problems at its new $3 billion semiconductor plant in East Fishkill, New York.