Mike Rhodin leaves behind a strong legacy for IBM's collaboration
software unit, which posted 17 percent year-over-year sales growth in
the first quarter.
IBM quietly promoted Lotus Software Group
General Manager Mike Rhodin two weeks before his division reported a 17 percent
year-over-year increase in first-quarter earnings April 16.
An IBM spokesperson told eWEEK that the
Armonk, N.Y., company made the change April 1, handing over the Lotus reins to
Bob Picciano, previously vice president of worldwide information management
sales for IBM.
Rhodin will help Picciano in the transition before assuming responsibility
for IBM software, hardware and services sales
in Northern Europe July 1.
Rhodin, who discussed IBM's increased focus on UCC (unified
communications and collaboration) with eWEEK
, leaves Lotus on solid
ground in the face of increasing competition from Microsoft's Office and
SharePoint tools and Google's Apps suite.
Ovum Research analyst Steve Hodgkinson wrote April 3 that since Rhodin took
the helm in 2005, Lotus has sported 13 (14, as of April 16) consecutive
quarters of growth in a multibillion-dollar market for workplace collaboration
The Lotus Notes and Domino customer base rose from 118 million to 140
million, while the Lotus Sametime instant messaging and Web conferencing client
grew from 13 million to 100 million users.
IBM offers a sneak peek at the next Lotus version.
Check it out.
"Rhodin has put in a good stint at the Lotus Software Group, presiding
over a significant turnaround in the fortunes of what was an ailing brand when
he took over in 2005," Hodgkinson wrote.
"Lotus was muddling along sideways (and downwards in the eyes of many
users-even Lotus fans) in the early part of the millennium and suffering under
the confusing IBM Workplace positioning and
the long-awaited refresh of the core Notes platform."