Ed Brill is leaving IBM

by Volker Weber

Ed Orlando

Ed Brill (@edbrill) will be leaving IBM at the end of next week. And to me, that is an end to an era. When I think of Lotus Notes, I think of two people: Ray Ozzie who created it, and Ed who kept it alive for so long. Ray did not do it alone, and neither did Ed. But those are the two names I will always remember first.

Ed and I go back twenty years. The first ten years were a struggle, the last ten years were not. About ten years ago I knew exactly which buttons to press to make him angry at me. And then I stopped. Ed had developed a theory that I was two people: Volker and vowe. Which is somewhat true in that vowe is only the tip of a larger iceberg. It helped him to no longer get angry. From that moment on, after his second (and not his last) visit here, Ed and Volker became friends.

While Ed was the center of the Yellowsphere of bloggers, IBM never gave him enough credit for what he did. We wanted him on the Lotusphere stage. And when the Notes ship finally took on water, I wanted him to swim away from it. In a way he did and he didn't when he accepted the challenge to roll out Verse to all of IBM's employees. This project was set up to fail, but against all odds it succeeded.

When Ed accepted his final challenge as product VP for Inhi Cho Suh, I was cautiously optimistic that they could transform this business. Unfortunately almost all of the partnerships and acquisitions they had planned failed, and not for the lack of trying.

Ed is finally free to move on. It's a very good move for him, but not for the business he is leaving behind.

Ed Porsche

Update: Thank you Ray for your kind words. You are a great man.


Huge loss for IBM. I'm sure Ed will succeed wherever he has chosen to go next.

Rob McDonagh, 2018-02-09

That is simple the saddest news...for all who loves Notes. Ed Brill is simply THE person who has kept Notes alive all the years.. Well it is Friday ..and I need a drink. PS. well at least he's got a Porsche :-)

Jesper Kiaer, 2018-02-09

No, he does not. That was a trip into the Alps a long time ago.

Volker Weber, 2018-02-09

Thank you for the backstory Volker. And God Speed to you Ed, I'm sure exciting times are ahead of you. Thanks for being reachable and having a hands-on approach to product management.

Hans Bornich, 2018-02-09

Does it help @Jesper that we have two German cars in my family? :)

Ed Brill, 2018-02-09

Wow - that's a big deal. Best wishes to you Ed, wherever you decide to go next. I bet Microsoft has some interesting opportunities for you.... ;-)

Amy Blumenfield, 2018-02-09

R.E.M. would sing „It‘s the end of the world as we know it“

Marco Schirmer, 2018-02-09

@Amy I have accepted a new role at a Chicago healthcare technology company as SVP product. Pretty excited to get started. I did talk to some Microsoft people over the last few months.... I guess "never say never" would shock most people to hear from me but was open to the exploration. In the end as a next chapter going somewhere where I know no one nor any of the products is actually quite appealing, so I'm going to reboot in about two weeks. :)

Ed Brill, 2018-02-09

Sad to read this - hope Ed gets enough Swiss chocolate in his job too

Roman Handl, 2018-02-10

Bon voyage, Ed. Sorry to see you go. Wish you well the best!

Lars Berntrop-Bos, 2018-02-10

Sad to see this.

But Mr. Brill *is* over 40 and IBM does NOT like to keep folks around who might, through experience, honed their bullshit detectors.

Craig Wiseman, 2018-02-10

I loved Notes and used it from its earliest days. Stayed in denial for a long time, but finally could see the writing on the wall and abandoned Notes 2 years ago. Kudos to Ed for all his efforts.

Tom Giovanetti, 2018-02-10

Thx Volker 4 inform us and thx for dignify Ed and his work for us all. Thx too to Ray. Now it is time to say to Ec: Thank you so much for all your service (and patience). Thank you for your time. And for the next step of your live: enjoy your new job, in a regulated environment. So many new challenges and tasks are perfect for a problemsolver like you. I'm glad I met you. Good luck

Werner Motzet, 2018-02-10

Ed Brill would not be able to save Notes and Domino within IBM so it is probably better that he spends his energy somewhere else.
If Douglas Crockford would ever write a book "IBM: The Good Parts" one of the first chapters could be "Ed Brill".
I wish him all the best and hope that he remains visible in some way.

Henning Heinz, 2018-02-10

All the best to Ed.

Henning, it would be a very short book by now, probably 🤔

Hubert Stettner , 2018-02-10

Big shoes for Mat Newman to fill. Expect to see more yellow soon.

Stephan H. Wissel, 2018-02-12

Mat is a really nice person. I like him a lot. But he does not appear to have the knowledge, the experience and last but not least the rank to fill these shoes.

Let's not expect too much of him. He will find his own way to make a difference.

Volker Weber, 2018-02-12

Ed, all the best tot you. We had many discussions and unfortunatly never had that beer i owe you 😉

Peter de Haas, 2018-02-14

Congratulations Ed and thanks for all that you've done and have yet to accomplish in the future! Woohoo! :)

Neil Wainwright, 2018-02-14

Well written Vowe!!!
@Ed, all the best for the future. It was always a pleasure having had worked with you. I left IBM and Lotus 5 years ago and it was not an easy decision. Hope to see you soon as we say in German „we meet twice in a life“ (man trifft sich zweimal im Leben).

Fares (the ex-BVA guru;-))

Fares Zaier, 2018-02-14

Thanks to everyone who has commented here, LinkedIn, my blog, facebook, twitter, etc. It's been quite an emotional week. All the best and thank you for being an inspiration to work with (or against :)!

Ed Brill, 2018-02-15

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