IBM Corp has quietly consolidated the marketing and development functions of its AS/400 and RS/6000 server groups nine months after turning RS/6000 manufacturing over to AS/400’s Rochester, Minnesota production lines. Our sister publication Unigram.X learned last Friday of RS/6000 general manager Mark Bregman’s departure to Big Blue’s palmtop division, and smelt blood in the air. The two divisions will keep their respective product lines and branding, though redundancies are expected as marketing and development positions are consolidated. We don’t know how many will lose their jobs, but it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, as we’ve been talking about the likelihood for more years than we care to remember. AS/400 chief Bill Zeitler gets a new role as general manager and chief of server brand marketing and IBM Microelectronics’ John Kelly, responsible for the copper process that recently put a rocket under IBM’s share price, will head development of both product lines as general manager. An AS/400 general manager – yet to be appointed – and new RS/6000 general manager, Mike Borman, report to the two. Zeitler and Kelly in turn report to senior vice president and server chief Bob Stephenson. Borman’s been in Asia/Pacific and most recently ran IBM’s mid-West sales. IBM Wall Street watcher Steven Milunovich over at Merrill Lynch thinks the idea of centralized brand management has merit and that reducing costs by combining development makes sense.
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