|News flash: Fiorina to IBM|
Message #1 Posted by Ronald on 1 Apr 2005, 10:11 a.m.
*Fiorina to Head IBM's iSeries Division
by Grimm N. Barrett , Editor-at-Large
March 31, 2005 -
In a surprise announcement, IBM today appointed dethroned HP honcho Carly Fiorina to head its iSeries Division. In so doing, IBM signaled it will take a more aggressive approach to dealing with the iSeries' competition. "She was a free agent with star power, so we just had to sign her," commented IBM Chairman Sam Palmisano, whose fantasy football team reportedly went 2-12 last year.
Big Blue waxed enthusiastic for Fiorina, who becomes the iSeries fourth general manager in the past six months. "IBM is not afraid to change direction when circumstances warrant. Carly's tanned, she's rested, she's ready to kick HP into the gutter," gushed IBM spokesblabber Rocky Minn at a press conference following the announcement. "When AD/Cycle wasn't working out, we recognized it was time to change horses in midstream, and this situation is no different," Minn continued.
Current iSeries GM Mark Shearer will head up IBM's new Household Appliances Division, where every toaster and mini-vac comes hard-wired with and intelligent POWER5 chip. "My iSeries experience will stand me in good stead selling blenders," a dazed Shearer uttered. He reportedly brightened when an IBM engineer in the audience pointed out that IBM's coffee urn line, at least, will process java.
When asked what Shearer's departure will mean for the recently announced initiative to pump more advertising dollars into the iSeries brand, Minn said IBM has decided to use the money to advertise luxury cars. "That's the only type of TV advertisement our key demographic pays attention to anyway," Minn explained. "So we figure that way we'll get the maximum bang for our advertising buck."
Minn then introduced Fiorina, who faced a skeptical press and outlined her bold plans for the future.
"I didn't give enough thought to PC strategy when I was at HP," Fiorina admitted. "I won't make that mistake again!" To show her commitment to that ideal, Fiorina announced that her first act will be to port OS/400 to the PC. "The iSeries line has models big enough to handle work that used to be reserved for mainframes," Fiorina pointed out. "Soon PCs will be big enough to handle the work of low-end iSeries models, so this is a logical step."
Second on the to-do list is porting HP-UX to the iSeries so it can compete head-to-head with the HP-9000. "The performance benchmarks will leave HP in the dust," Fiorina promised, "and nobody can say we won't be comparing apples to apples!"
Her third priority will be to pursue a merger of IBM with PriceWaterhouseCoopers. "IBM has the financial clout to make it work this time! And what better way to make the iSeries a household word than by using it to tabulate the Academy Award(tm) ballots(tm) every(tm) year(tm)?" she declared, in a fit of coughing.
Her final strategic dictum will be to give future iSeries models a built-in printer so documents come straight out of the cabinet. "Think of the saved space in IT data centers that won't need to make room for a separate iSeries printer! Think of the iSeries user who will have the cathartic experience of seeing the iSeries itself giving symbolic birth to that needed document! A merger of print and processing functions is the wave of the 90s . . .uh, the FUTURE!" Fiorina concluded.
In response to questions, Fiorina didn't deny rumors of negotiations underway for a parallel arrangement to her HP partnership with DreamWorks, this time between IBM and George Lucas. The rumor of a product-placement deal for the final Star Wars film that would replace the android R2D2 with an iSeries model 800 on wheels remains speculative. "I see nothing wrong with IBM getting a reputation as a company that builds cool gadgets," is all Fiorina would say. An anonymous source at LucasArts insists the crucial holdup is a glitch with the 800's voice synthesizer that makes it sound like Lou Gerstner. "And that's way too Twentieth Century," the source insisted.