IBM Software Star Retires

IBM software guru Lee Nackman leaves as the company names a new round of distinguished engineers.

Lee Nackman, a technology star in the IBM Software Group, has retired.

Nackman, who had been with the company more than 20 years and was most recently vice president of product development and customer support of IBM's Rational unit, retired March 28.


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IBM named Jamie Thomas to replace Nackman. Most recently, Thomas was vice president of Rational software development.

Nackman had also served as chief technology officer of the Rational unit and was instrumental in creating the strategy and tools that became the Eclipse open-source integrated development environment and its vast ecosystem. Nackman also helped transition Eclipse from an IBM-run organization into the Eclipse Foundation, an independent consortium of companies working on delivering an open-source tools platform.

In addition, he helped spur the development of IBM's Jazz collaborative software development platform. Prior to joining IBM Software Group in 1998, Nackman held technical and management positions at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center. He was elected to the IBM Academy of Technology in 1998. He has published 50 papers and a book, and holds two patents.

In an internal memo to IBM Rational viewed by eWEEK, Danny Sabbah, general manager of the Rational business unit, touted Thomas as Nackman's replacement, saying that her "cross-group experience, customer-focused leadership style and technical breadth make her the ideal candidate for this role."

Another change, according to Sabbah, is that Martin Nally, an IBM fellow and CTO, will report directly to him. The move expands Martin's role, which will include focusing more broadly on all aspects of IBM's software business.

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Meanwhile, IBM April 7 announced that 74 applied technical experts have been appointed IBM distinguished engineers. That group includes three technical experts from IBM Rational: George DeCandio, Scott Rich and Leigh Williamson.

Being named an IBM distinguished engineer recognizes an individual's technical accomplishment and expertise in his or her respective fields.

DeCandio's work on IBM Rational's application development tools business includes helping develop VisualAge for C++, VisualAge for Java, IBM WebSphere Studio and IBM Rational Application Developer. Rich has spent 10 years working on IBM's tools business, touching on such products as VisualAge/Smalltalk, VisualAge/Java, IBM WebSphere Studio, IBM Rational Application Developer and, most recently, Rational's Jazz Platform.

Williamson is chief architect for Rational BuildForge and works the customer-facing side of the business, dealing with customers on pre-sales, proofs of concept and customer problem situations.