The New General (Manager) at IBM Kenexa and Smarter Workforce
By Jim Lundy
IBM bought Kenexa in August 2012 and this week, the final integration was completed and with that, comes a new leader, IBM Veteran Debbie Landers, who is the new General Manager for IBM’s HCM-focused business unit, which is now called IBM Kenexa and Smarter Workforce.
Debbie is taking over from Rudy Karsan, the founder of Kenexa. Kenexa and Smarter Workforce is part of the IBM Software Group.
Debbie Landers: General Manager for Kenexa and Smarter Workforce
Debbie Landers has been with IBM for over 29 years in a variety of positions. When IBM bought Kenexa, GM Alistar Rennie informed me that Debbie would be one of the key executives managing the transition of Kenexa into the IBM Software Group.
As a result, we have monitored the integration of Kenexa into IBM over the last 24 months and to us, it was carefully planned and well-executed. The IBM Kenexa and Smarter Workforce Suite is being updated and enhanced and the IBM Global Services Groups are working with the new Business Unit in IBM.
For Debbie, this is a well deserved promotion to an elite club at IBM. As an IBM General Manager, the expectations are high. That said, Debbie has been very involved with the integration and with her years of experience (over 29 at IBM), she is poised to take the Kenexa and Smarter Workforce business to a new level. Debbie joins a growing number of female executives at IBM who are following in IBM CEO Virginia Rometty’s footsteps.
I’ve spent time with Debbie over the last two years and she is the real deal. A polished executive and a careful listener, she knows the HCM market and the competition and the strengths that IBM brings to the table, including their new predictive and social learning applications (see the recent Aragon Research First Cut).
We think this is the first of a number of moves that the IBM Software Group will make to up the ante in HCM. The competition should watch this unit carefully, since IBM is very focused on making applications smarter in HCM. Now that Debbie is managing this group and given her execution experience at IBM, we expect to see them pick up the pace even more.