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Big Blue puts Donohue in charge of iSeries sales

IBM shook up its iSeries salesforce last week by appointing former pSeries sales wiz Bill Donohue as its new vice president.

Seeking an iSeries sales renaissance similar to what Big Blue's pSeries has seen over the past four years, IBM announced last week that Bill Donohue, the former vice president of pSeries sales, will take over as the iSeries' new vice president of worldwide sales.

Donohue replaces Bob McCormick, who has worked on the iSeries since 2001. McCormick will continue within IBM as a vice president of channels, for Big Blue's small and midsized business wing.

The move is yet another indication that IBM is serious about repositioning the iSeries as one of its marquee platforms.

Sales numbers during McCormick's tenure fluctuated wildly. In the 16 fiscal quarters since 2001, the iSeries revenue dropped 10 times -- including eight quarters that saw a falloff of 10% or more. And when the iSeries revenues fell 17% in 2004, it marked the third time in four years the platform saw a double-digit drop-off overall.

The iSeries finally stopped the bleeding after four straight quarters in the red in Q1 2005, but a 1% growth for the line during that stretch was hardly the upswing Big Blue was hoping for.

Donohue enters the fray with the reputation as a "heavy hitter" following a successful stint with the pSeries. When Donohue took over the Americas sales team for the pSeries server division in 2001, IBM was last in Unix market share at 18%, 18 points behind Sun Microsystems Inc. But during Donohue's tenure, the pSeries division experienced 12 consecutive quarters of market share gains over its competition and took over the top spot in the Americas, 4% ahead of Sun.

The pSeries brand now boasts an average year-to-year growth of 16% and currently owns a 34% market share.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Luke Meredith, News Writer

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