John Botten has abandoned his 31 year career with IBM to become group chief operating officer at IT services group Spring.
He leaves his top position at the vendor to join Wirral-based Spring on 1 January 1999. He will report to Karl Chapman, Spring's group chief executive, and gain a seat on the board.
Botten served on the main board of IBM UK, and had held many positions at the company. These included UK operations director, head of systems integration, and director of education services.
He had been commercial director of IBM UK since 1994, and his responsibilities at IBM included troubleshooting and negotiating projects and bids.
Botten said he was leaving IBM at the end of December. He stressed his reasons for moving were "nothing to do with IBM", saying he was looking forward to the new challenge at Spring.
He refused to elaborate further on what his main responsibilities would be, saying the specifications of the new position were still under discussion.
Spring, created in 1989, is a fully quoted public company, with more than 2,600 employees. Spring's Chapman said he was delighted at having persuaded Botten to join the company.
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