IBMs Devlin Retires as Rational GM

Danny Sabbah will succeed Devlin as general manager of the Rational division.

Mike Devlin, co-founder of Rational Software Corp. and most recently general manager of IBM Corp.s Rational business unit, has retired from the systems giant.

Sources said IBM announced Devlins retirement internally last week, along with the resignation of Hugh Scandrett, a longtime Rational executive and chief of development for the division, who was viewed as Devlins second.

Devlin or Scandrett could not be reached for comment.

Steve Eisenstadt, a spokesperson for IBM confirmed that both individuals are in fact leaving IBM, but that their departures are unrelated.

"Mike is retiring from the company, and he is leaving with great fondness for Rational and the work were doing here," Eisenstadt said.

Eisenstadt also confirmed that Danny Sabbah, vice president of strategy and technology for the IBM Software Group, will succeed Devlin as general manager of the Rational division. Lee Nackman, chief technology officer of IBM Rational Software, will succeed Scandrett, Eisenstadt said.

Devlin, who served as chief executive of Rational before IBM announced its plans to acquire the company in December 2002 for $2.1 billion (and completed the deal in February 2003), joined IBM as general manager of the Rational division and became head of one of IBMs five software brands.

When IBM holds its IBM Rational Software Development Conference 2005 in Las Vegas later this month it will be the last one for one of the companys biggest cheerleaders. Devlin is listed among the keynoters and will stay on to deliver a keynote address at the conference. Nackman is also slated to deliver a keynote.

Since acquiring the software development tools maker, IBM integrated Rationals technology into its WebSphere tools suite, moved to base the entire tools suite on the Eclipse open-source platform, and adopted much of Rationals model-driven architecture approach. Steve Mills, executive vice president of the IBM Software Group, then placed Lee Nackman in charge of overall development at Rational.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read a review of the Eclipse 3.0-based Rational Web Developer 6.0.

Devlin is the highest-ranking Rational executive to leave IBM following the acquisition. Other executive defections have included Eric Schurr, who headed marketing for Rational, and Burton Goldfield, who had led Rationals field organization. In addition, several engineers and architects left the Rational fold following the IBM acquisition; many of those who left went to work for Microsoft and helped develop Microsofts Visual Studio Team System product and the Software Factories technology the software giant is working to deliver.

Meanwhile, key Rational executives still with IBM include Walker Royce, a vice president of the Rational division and general manager of the divisions Strategic Services Organization, and Beth Friday, who served as senior vice president of worldwide customer services for the independent Rational and maintains an equivalent role in the IBM Rational division.

Grady Booch, a famed Rational software architect, IBM Fellow and co-author of the Unified Modeling Language, also will remain with the company, along with a host of other developers that came over in the acquisition.

Rationals earnings were flat last quarter, according to IBMs earnings report for the quarter that ended March 31. Software revenue overall was $3.6 billion, a 2.4 percent increase. "Rational software was flat with growth in Americas and Asia offset by declines in Europe," the IBM earnings statement said.

Among the key releases under Devlins leadership, IBM Rational delivered the IBM Software Development Platform, code-named Atlantic.

In an interview with eWEEK last summer, Devlin said: "Rational is the brand thats driving the overall software development strategy, which makes sense given thats our background. And what weve defined across IBM in total, and particularly across the Software Group, is something we call the Software Development Platform and we had an event last December to introduce our strategy there. Basically it integrates all of our various tools, basic WebSphere Studio, Eclipse technology; those groups have been moved into Rational and are part of our team now."

/zimages/6/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.