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IBM Names A New M&A Chief After Losing the Previous Chief to Dell

June 23, 2009

IBM named one of its executives, a former Morgan Stanley banker, to be its new head of mergers and acquisitions on Tuesday after losing its chief dealmaker to rival Dell Inc, which is beefing up its acquisition efforts.

IBM named Elias Mendoza, who handled mergers and acquisitions in Asia for the computer consulting and technology company, to the top M&A job as it waits for a U.S. federal court to rule on a request that the man he replaces be banned from working for Dell.

Before joining IBM in 2006, Mendoza worked for investment bank Morgan Stanley.

IBM claims that his predecessor, David Johnson, violated a 2005 non-compete agreement by taking the Dell post in May.

“Mr. Johnson has possession of valuable confidential information of IBM and cannot undertake a senior strategy position at Dell without violating his obligations to IBM,” the company said in a statement as it filed its lawsuit last month.

A judge in the U.S. District Court of Southern New York could rule on IBM’s request as early as this week.

An IBM spokesman declined to comment on the litigation on Tuesday.

The litigation comes as IBM seeks to rebound after a rare public embarrassment over its M&A efforts, a failed attempt to buy hardware maker Sun Microsystems Inc.

It emerged as the lead contender in March to buy the company but discussions collapsed in April mainly because both sides were unable to agree on guarantees for IBM to be able to walk away should the deal fail to pass regulatory scrutiny.

Software developer Oracle swooped in with a successful bid to buy Sun for more than $7 billion.

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