By John McCormick
Kyndryl, the tech services business International Business Machines Corp. plans to spin off by the end of this year, named information-technology veteran Michael Bradshaw as its chief information officer on Tuesday.
Mr. Bradshaw, the CIO at NBCUniversal Media LLC, will join Kyndryl next week and report to Martin Schroeter, the new business's chief executive officer.
In his new position, Mr. Bradshaw is expected to set Kyndryl's information technology strategy and put together an IT team.
At NBCUniversal, Mr. Bradshaw leads a team of about 1,500 IT professionals.
IBM announced in October that it would spin off its managed infrastructure services business as it focuses on faster-growing areas such as cloud-computing and artificial intelligence. The unit manages clients' IT infrastructure and, IBM said last fall, it generates about $19 billion in sales and has about 90,000 employees.
The name of the company comes from the words kinship and tendrils, which support growing plants. "It's about supporting growth through people," an IBM spokesman said.
"It's an amazing opportunity when you think about it being a 90,000-person startup," Mr. Bradshaw said. "There's a combination of starting up a new business but already having an established customer base of thousands of customers around the world."
Mr. Bradshaw said NBCUniversal is an IBM customer but didn't provide specifics.
Mr. Bradshaw joined the media company in 2016 from Lockheed Martin Corp., where he was vice president and CIO for Mission Systems and Training at the defense company.
Mr. Bradshaw sees his biggest challenge as helping to manage the spinoff. "It's making sure that we're doing it efficiently and effectively. That we're not disrupting the mission-critical systems that we're supporting for our many customers. So that's job one," he said.
Tim Crawford, CIO strategic adviser at Los Angeles-based advisory firm AVOA, agreed that the first job of an IT executive coming into this type of role is "getting the house in order." But he also said it is important for CIOs at technology companies to be engaged with customers. "He's going to have to get out and get very public," Mr. Crawford said.
Mr. Bradshaw will be counted on to confer with customers as appropriate, the IBM spokesman said.
"Michael brings capabilities to think like Kyndryl's customers and can be an asset for Kyndryl's services leaders and its base of clients," said Chirag Dekate, vice president analyst at technology research and advisory firm Gartner Inc.
But Mr. Bradshaw also brings to the position the perspective of a former IBM employee.
Before joining Lockheed Martin in 2010, Mr. Bradshaw had worked at IBM. His last position was in the office of the CIO where he focused on infrastructure optimization across IBM.
"I would say it's a little bit of a homecoming," he said. "And I think that's probably why I have so much passion for what Martin and the team are about to do."
IBM made another CIO announcement earlier this year. In March, the company appointed Kathryn Guarini, a 20-plus-year IBM veteran, to replace Fletcher Previn as its CIO.
Write to John McCormick at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires