Lotus: Al Zollar out, Ambuj Goyal in

by Volker Weber

goyal.gifAl Zollar leaves as general manager of IBM Lotus to head IBM's iSeries server unit. Dr. Ambuj Goyal will be Lotus' new general manager.

In his current position, he is responsible for setting business strategy for IBM's Software Group. Prior to this he served as Chief Technology Officer, Application & Integration Middleware Division, which includes the WebSphere and MQ product families.

Goyal also had 1500 researchers in seven labs reporting to him. His early work in scalable databases led to IBM's Universal Database (DB2) family. He was also responsible for setting the early direction in web application servers which led to the WebSphere product family.

This looks like a very smart guy. I don't want to jump to conclusions here, but Goyal has WebSphere painted all over him. Ed Brill disagrees. He says, Ambuj is an indian name which means ... WebSphere? Nope. Lotus! You don't believe that? Go look it up.


Good comment from Spencer Brown on LDD:

Ambuj is a great guy, he will be good for Lotus IMO. I've worked with him and his people quite a bit and I'm very impressed with him.Steve Mills sent a very nice letter (internally) to all Software Group employees praising Al Zollar for his accomplishments at Lotus, and in his IBM career in general.The context is that this is one of those executive shuffles caused by a retirement. Not anything unusual at IBM. They like to rotate their executives through the different business units, to give them an opportunity to see other parts of the business and enable them to use this experience to move up the ladder in the future.Bob Timpson, Steve Mills' general manager for developer/ISV relations, is retiring after 35 years with IBM. His place is being taken by the former head of the iSeries server unit, Al Zollar is moving to take his place, and Ambuj is taking Al's place.

I do not completely agree with his view about the executive shuffle, but I am also looking much forward to seeing how Ambuj will handle Lotus' business. I have talked to a number of people who know him and they all seem to be very positive about this move.

Volker Weber, 2003-01-09

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