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IBM names new iSeries marketing VP

IBM taps its SMB chief Elaine Lennox to replace Peter Bingaman. The leadership change comes at crucial juncture, but execs voice confidence.

IBM on Friday appointed a new iSeries vice president of marketing, Elaine Lennox. She will be filling the shoes of Peter Bingaman, who two weeks ago left his 15-month post for a position at LexisNexis.

Lennox, an in-house hire, comes from a background closely related to the iSeries. Her most recent post was vice president of servers and storage for IBM's small and medium business (SMB) unit.

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The leadership change comes during a crucial transition stage for the iSeries, which is positioned to cash in on a major product refresh. The platform was gaining momentum from a strong 2005, but weak sales in Q4 and Bingaman's departure cast a shadow over the iSeries outlook.

Bingaman, along with iSeries general manager Mark Shearer, had been widely credited for turning around public perception of the iSeries during 2005. While it wasn't exactly mission accomplished, many within the industry saw Bingaman as taking the platform's message in the right direction.

During Bingaman's tenure the platform had managed to rally three strong quarters in revenues, despite a recent drop due to customers waiting for a forthcoming platform refresh.

Despite what's at stake, IBM said in a statement that the timing of Lennox's appointment "couldn't have been better" -- suggesting that the highest earned revenues in 10 years aligning with her "deep understanding of the SMB market" is serendipitous.

"Elaine is an energetic and passionate leader who will help take our business to the next level of success," iSeries head Mark Shearer said in a statement. "In her new role, Elaine will help accelerate the momentum we've created by increasing awareness of iSeries, enhancing our success in the SMB marketplace, and further strengthening and extending the iSeries solutions ecosystem."

In prior years, Lennox led marketing and partner programs for IBM's SMB organization. In this role she helped launch the company's Express offerings, packages designed specifically for mid-sized businesses.

Prior to joining IBM, she was a European marketing manager for Hewlett Packard in Grenoble, France. She later managed a broad line of servers at HP, helping to drive the company's first line of small business network servers and systems management software.

Originally from Dumfries, Scotland, Lennox is an alumna of Grenoble Graduate School of Business, and holds a Bachelors of Science from Aston Business School in England.

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

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