Microsoft Taps Former IBM Tools Exec for Security Job

Microsoft has hired former IBM software executive Lee Nackman as the new corporate vice president of Microsoft's Identity and Security Division (ISD).

It's no surprise that Microsoft has hired a former IBM tools guy to enrich its organization. What is somewhat surprising is where the software giant has him working.

Microsoft has hired former IBM software executive Lee Nackman as the new corporate vice president of Microsoft's Identity and Security Division (ISD). According to Nackman's bio on Microsoft's executives Web page, which appeared on April 17 -- a year after Nackman retired from IBM: "The ISD group Nackman oversees creates products designed to protect systems and information from the latest threats, while ensuring that the right people have flexible, manageable access to the information that they need."

Nackman's most recent experience has been in the tools business, not only as former chief technology officer at IBM's Rational division, but also as the catalyst behind the creation of the Eclipse open-source integrated development environment (IDE) and then the spinning off of the stewardship of Eclipse to the Eclipse Foundation. Nackman also was instrumental in the creation of IBM's Jazz -- a collaborative software development and delivery platform.

According to his Microsoft bio:

""Nackman joined Microsoft in 2009 after a 26-year career with IBM, where he most recently served as the vice president for product development and customer support of IBM's Rational software division, leading a worldwide distributed team. Prior to that, he was the CTO of the Rational division, where he led integration of the acquired Rational and IBM products. Earlier, Nackman was vice president of application development tools for WebSphere, and managed IBM's compiler and Java virtual machine efforts. He initiated the technology that became the Eclipse open source effort."Nackman came to IBM's product group after 16 years at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, where he did research on robot software, computer-aided design, finite-element mesh generation, computational geometry, modeling systems, C++ compiler architectures and programming environments.""

So although the Microsoft ISD position does not exactly seem like a perfect transition, given Nackman's recent past at IBM, Nackman comes from an IBM culture where shifting executives from one area to another in IBM Software Group is the norm. For instance, Al Zollar, general manager of IBM's Tivoli division, also has served as general manager of IBM Lotus and a product manager for DB2 and a general manager for IBM hardware technology. Zollar's experience is not atypical for IBM executives.

However, one might expect that Nackman, like other IBM Rational expatriates who have gone to Microsoft, would take a role in Microsoft's application lifecycle management (ALM) effort with Visual Studio Team System and Team Foundation Server.

Meanwhile, according to one report:

"For the past year, Nackman was an independent consultant, working with Morphormics, a spin-off of the Medical Image Display and Analysis group at University of North Carolina. "