Lance Crosby, CEO, IBM SoftLayer
IBM SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby with some of the servers powering the SoftLayer cloud. (Photo: IBM)

IBM Confirms Departure of SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby

IBM acquired SoftLayer in 2013 for $2 billion, Crosby stayed on for about 19 months after the acquisition.

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This article originally appeared at The WHIR

IBM confirmed on Wednesday that SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby has resigned. Crosby is expected to leave the company this week, several reports said.

IBM acquired SoftLayer in 2013 for $2 billion to expand its cloud services portfolio, and SoftLayer CEO and founder Crosby stayed on for about 19 months after the acquisition, according to a report by Re/Code.

“We wish Lance Crosby the best as he takes a well-deserved break before pursuing new endeavors,” an IBM spokesperson said in a statement. “Lance has left his mark on IBM. SoftLayer has become an important part of IBM’s cloud portfolio, and has played a big role in our success. IBM reported $7 billion in cloud revenues for 2014, and we will continue to build on that momentum with our clients.”

Crosby ran SoftLayer for eight years prior to its acquisition by IBM, launching the Dallas-based company in 2005.

Crosby said in a statement: “I am very proud of the business we built and the team who continue to evolve SoftLayer at IBM. Now that the business is successfully integrated into IBM, I am ready to take some time off before I pursue my next challenge.”

In January, IBM appointed IBM veteran Robert LeBlanc to run the new dedicated cloud business unit, which oversees SoftLayer. He reports to IBM CEO Virginia Rometty.

Since the acquisition of SoftLayer, IBM has put a lot of emphasis on growing its cloud business. Cloud services and software revenue accounted for about eight percent of IBM’s sales in 2014, most of which came from SoftLayer. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, LeBlanc said that the cloud group has about 1,000 job openings, despitecutbacks in other areas expected to take hold this week.

Last year, IBM announced a commitment of $1.2 billion to grow its global cloud data center footprint. The company has rapidly announced data centers in London, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Toronto, among other locations. With the support of its partner Equinix, it plans to have 49 cloud data centers around the world.

Crosby has been a fixture of the hosting industry for many years having seen SoftLayer through multiple acquisitions, financing rounds, data center launches and expansions. He also guided the company through a significant transition: meeting the needs of customers through traditional hosting solutions to cloud services.

Having been at the helm of the company since 2005, it will be interesting to see what Crosby does beyond SoftLayer, and the WHIR will certainly be watching.

This article originally appeared at: http://www.thewhir.com/web-hosting-news/ibm-confirms-departure-softlayer-ceo-lance-crosby

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