CEO of IBM's ISS Unit Resigns

Tom Noonan, who oversaw ISS' acquisition by IBM in October 2006 for $1.3 billion, resigned for personal reasons, according to IBM.

Tom Noonan, the president and CEO of Internet Security Services who oversaw the company's acquisition by IBM in 2006 for $1.3 billion, has stepped down from the job.

Noonan resigned the post the week of Feb. 11 for personal reasons and will be replaced by Val Rahmani, a longtime IBM executive, according to a company spokesperson.

"Tom resigned to spend some time with his family and to kick back a little bit," said spokesperson Jim Larkin. "He's been an entrepreneur and a business leader, and then at IBM, has helped put IBM at the forefront of the security space."

Larkin said that while IBM officials were sorry to see Noonan leave, they did not view his departure as sudden, but rather something that Noonan had been thinking about for a while.

"We bought them in October of 2006, and Tom stayed with us until February 2008," he said. "That is a good amount of time. Other times, when you see an acquisition or a transition of one company to another, the senior management [of the company acquired] doesn't tend to stay that long."

Rahmani, who helped lead IBM's acquisition of ISS, will have the title of general manager of IBM ISS.

Since its acquisition, ISS, which has about 1,500 employees, has been housed within the $36 billion IBM Global Technology Services business and a key part of Big Blue's aggressive push in the security field, Larkin said.

ISS' threat detection and mitigation services were offerings that IBM was lacking before the acquisition. With those capabilities now, IBM has been able to push for business that it couldn't have before, he said.

"[ISS] absolutely has been an ace-in-the-hole for many outsourcing engagements ... large and small," Larkin said.

He said that unlike other acquisitions, there has been little change in what ISS does or its go-to-market model, which he attributed to Noonan's presence over the past 16 months.

Larkin said IBM has been aggressive in its efforts to expand its security offerings and to publicize those efforts. Company officials were in San Francisco in December for a security summit, talking with reporters and analysts about their plans. They held another summit in Sydney, Australia, last month, and will be in Boston at the Harvard Club Feb. 28 for a third such event.