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Falling Petals At Lotus


Up Front: MIGRATIONS

FALLING PETALS AT LOTUS

THE BRAIN DRAIN CONTINUES at Lotus. Long-time Chairman Jim Manzi quit on Oct. 11. Now, chief technologist John Landry and business development honcho K.C. Branscomb are the latest executives to leave, bringing the tally to seven out of the top eight execs who have departed since IBM acquired the software maker in July. Or make that six-and-a-half. Landry, 47, will stay on as a part-time consultant, helping to guide IBM'S Internet strategy.

Nonetheless, Landry's exit is a real loss for Big Blue. At IBM Chairman Louis Gerstner's behest, Landry has been consolidating the companies' scattered Internet efforts. Friends say Landry is not enthralled with the idea of working for a corporate behemoth. Neither Landry nor Branscomb could be reached.

Branscomb, 40, like Landry a senior veep, has no immediate plans, says a Lotus spokesman. Not that she or any other Lotus execs need them: Most made millions on IBM's $3.5 billion acquisition.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT, WITH OLUWABUNMI SHABI Amy Cortese


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