IBM gives four executives expanded responsibilities

By Ritsuko Ando

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N: ) said Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge and senior executives Michael Daniels, Steven Mills and Virginia Rometty would be given broader responsibilities at the company, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters.

Loughridge, 56, will hold on to his role as CFO, but will be given a broader role as senior vice president of “Finance and Enterprise Transformation,” the memo said.

Daniels, 56, and previously responsible for technology services in IBM’s global services group, is now head of the overall services group. Mills, 58, currently senior vice president and group executive of IBM’s software group, is now also responsible for its systems business.

Rometty, 52, and long considered a CEO candidate, is now responsible for marketing and strategy in addition to her previous role as senior vice president of global sales and distribution.

Reporting lines do not appear to have changed, and a spokesman of the world’s biggest technology services firm declined to comment on the memo.

But one IBM employee, who declined to be named, said the move made obvious where the next leadership would come from by elevating a few of its most senior executives.

Some analysts say Mills is too close in age to Palmisano, who turns 59 later this month, to be considered a likely successor. But Daniels and Rometty have long been strong candidates as the next CEO.

Palmisano, appointed CEO in March 2002, said in the memo that the move would help tie together the company’s vast business of selling computer servers, technology services and software.

“For example, we know that IT infrastructure performance is greatly enhanced when every element from microprocessors and storage through operating systems and middleware is designed and brought to market as tightly integrated, optimized systems,” he said.

“And we know that in order to achieve the productivity goals of our 2015 EPS Roadmap, we need to drive both efficiency and process transformation throughout the company.”

IBM earlier announced a decline in new technology services contracts in the second quarter and revenue that missed analyst estimates, sending its shares down more than 4 percent.

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(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

IBM gives four executives expanded responsibilities