Up Front: HONCHOS
MANZI LOOKS LIKE AN ODD MAN OUT
DON'T BET THAT JIM MANZI will be part of the IBM inner circle. Sure, much has been made of the shocker that he will stay on to run Lotus after IBM's $3.5 billion buyout. Manzi, who is getting an estimated $77 million windfall from the deal, had been widely expected to bolt. Instead, Manzi will stay on without a contract and become an IBM senior vice-president, reporting to Chairman Lou Gerstner.
Gerstner may be more interested in keeping Manzi on to make sure the acquisition goes smoothly and key software aces don't skip. IBM insiders say Manzi will take some strategic issues directly to Gerstner, but Lotus' day-to-day operational work will go through John Thompson, the senior IBM software veep. Also, Manzi won't belong to the nine-member Corporate Executive Committee, which includes almost all IBM senior vice-presidents and works directly with Gerstner on major strategy and policies. "He's not on the CEC and that says something," notes one IBM manager. So far, Manzi is also not on the 34-member Worldwide Executive Council, which is not as exclusive as the CEC but still is important. Neither IBM nor Manzi would comment. EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT, WITH OLUWABUNMI SHABI Ira Sager