IBM appoints Big Blue veteran as new channel chief

Los Angeles – This year’s Partner Leadership forum was the last for Ravi Marwaha, who used his opening keynote address to announce his retirement, effective immediately, as general manager of IBM global business partners.

A 40-year veteran of IBM(NYSE: IBM), Marwaha held a number of key roles in IBM’s personal systems division and also managed IBM’s business in his native India before taking-on the channel chief role in October 2006. His replacement, Richard Hume, is another IBM veteran. Most recently the general manager of IBM’s System X server division, he also had a stint as general manager, operations, for IBM global business solutions.

The transition from Marwaha to Hume should be seamless as far as IBM’s Canadian partners are concerned says Steve White, program director of the software alliances leadership council at IDC Canada.

“It’s business as usual,” said White. “I don’t think there will be any change there for partners; with Hume coming from within IBM there’s continuity there.”

That’s echoed by Pat Waid, president and COO of Montreal-based Hartco, an IBM partner. Waid says he has had few dealings with Marwaha so he doesn’t see much of an impact from the change; he says his relationship with IBM has been primarily through the Canadian business and channel organization.

IBM’s Canadian channel organization also has a relatively new channel boss in Shannon O’Connor, who recently replaced IBM-veteran Gary Isaacs as director, business partners with IBM Canada. To date, Waid says O’Connor has promised a strong level of commitment to IBM Canada partners.

“We’ve had every indication that includes a closer level of collaboration with ourselves and IBM partners in Canada,” said Waid. “She’s relatively new in the role but the early signs are positive, and we’re hopeful. She’s saying the right things.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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