IBM?s channel strategy showed further signs of disarray today as it emerged that UK channel manager, Steve Voller, has left the company to head up Netscape UK. He spearheaded IBM?s channel strategy in this country and will be hard to replace, Big Blue admitted.
An IBM representative said: ?I can confirm that Voller has left but his boss is away so I can?t say who will replace him.? That means further uncertainty in the channel and leaves Mike Lunch, formerly at Toshiba, and Nick Coutts, heading up the European channel group in comparative isolation.
Only two weeks ago, another IBM channel executive told VNU Newswire that its strategy was in disarray, with frustration at an all-time high because, he claimed, the old guard is stopping channel people within the company from doing their job.
Voller is now on gardening leave until 7 April when he will take up the post as managing director of Netscape UK.
?We?ve currently got 23 people in Netscape's Hayes office but I?m looking to expand it to 40,? Voller said. He wants to recruit corporate sales people. ?We supply through the channel completely but talk to end users and use distributors to fulful the orders.?
In a relaxed mood, Voller also confirmed many of the stories about IBM's channel woes. He worked at IBM for the first time before becoming managing director of distributor Macro Micro, and said that coming back to Big Blue was a little frustrating. ?In some ways it?s like walking through treacle,? he said. He refused to confirm the stories that the old guard at IBM was attempting to stifle president Lou Gerstner?s business partner storm troopers.
Instead, he said: ?I?m sure that the channel attitude at IBM will prevail.?
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