IBM reshuffles PR deck to ’keep people energized’

ARMONK, NY: IBM, which last week reported lower-than-expected revenues and a decline in fourth-quarter earnings, has shuffled the cards within its massive corporate communications operation.

ARMONK, NY: IBM, which last week reported lower-than-expected revenues and a decline in fourth-quarter earnings, has shuffled the cards within its massive corporate communications operation.

ARMONK, NY: IBM, which last week reported lower-than-expected

revenues and a decline in fourth-quarter earnings, has shuffled the

cards within its massive corporate communications operation.



While the moves were viewed by some as a panicky response to the

business difficulties, the PR shake-up does not involve any layoffs or

resignations and thus should not be read as a sign of trouble on the

horizon, according to corporate VP of media relations Rob Wilson.



’David Kalis (IBM VP of communications, who reports directly to CEO Lou

Gerstner) regularly rotates his staff to broaden the experience of the

IBM PR team,’ Wilson explained. ’In addition to helping our staff learn

about different parts of the company, these moves keep people fresh and

energized.’



While IBM’s reorganization may simply have been routine procedure,

there’s no doubt the reorganized communications team has challenges

ahead. ’Big Blue’ is hoping to shrug off its image as an overly

corporate clunker and reposition itself as a company for the future.



Most of the changes involve rotated assignments across location and

business units. Bill Hughes, VP of communications for IBM Asia-Pacific

in Tokyo, switches places with Jeffrey Cross, VP of communications in

the personal systems group.



Within the corporate group, Carol Makovich, formerly VP of worldwide

communications for RJR Nabisco (PRWeek, Jan. 10), replaces Ian Colley,

who moves to Paris as media relations director for Europe/Middle

East/Africa.



Global services communications VP Harvey Greisman shifts to the software

group, while Melinda McMullen, media relations director for the

technology/research unit, moves into Greisman’s slot, replaced in turn

by David Yaun. Finally, global services media relations director Brian

Doyle, moves into the same post for the technology group, succeeding Ed

Barbini, who becomes media relations director for the enterprise systems

group.



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