IBM Says Good-Bye to Top Executive

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Senior Vice President Mike Daniels, who was once a leading candidate to succeed former chief executive Samuel Palmisano as head of International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), has announced his retirement after 36 years with the company.

A regulatory document filed by the company made the announcement public on Friday.

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Daniels made his mark at the world’s biggest provider of computer services by cutting costs and helping to improve IBM’s margins in recent years. As head of the company’s services division, he managed operations that accounted for 57 percent of IBM’s total revenue. In a June 2011 article detailing IBM’s succession plans, The Wall Street Journal described him as having “superb operational skills.” But Daniels never reached the company’s top position; he eventually lost out to Ginni Rometty, when she became president and chief executive officer in January 2012.

Before his promotion to services chief, Daniels was the general manager of IBM’s Sales and Distribution operations in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Previously, he spent three years running Global Services in the Asia-Pacific region.

Daniels’s cost-cutting efforts are visible in the company’s current success. IBM, which was named a top 2013 stock pick by Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu, made 2012 its fourth straight year of gains, with its share price rising 4.2 percent last year.

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