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IBM Said to Reassign Emerging-Markets Head After Sales Slump

International Business Machines Corp. is reassigning James Bramante, who had overseen its emerging-markets business, after a drop in the unit’s sales, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Bruno Di Leo, who formerly ran IBM’s growth markets and is now head of sales, will be in charge of setting up a new team to oversee the unit, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Bramante’s new position has yet to be announced.

Revenue in the division fell 9 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, dragged down by a 22 percent decline in China, where the government was revamping its economic policy, Armonk, New York-based IBM said yesterday. The performance helped contribute to the sixth straight quarterly decline in total sales for the world’s biggest computer-services company.

“In the growth markets organization, the leadership team that established that to begin with and drove that organization is now back in the cockpit, led by Bruno Di Leo and his leadership team,” IBM Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge said yesterday on a conference call. “They know how to get this done.”

James Sciales, an IBM spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

While growth in the emerging-markets unit -- which also includes India and countries in Africa and the Middle East -- typically exceeds developed markets by 8 to 10 percentage points, it trailed them for the first time this quarter, Loughridge said.

Hardware Shuffle

The executive change is Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty’s second major leadership shuffle this year. In April, she appointed Tom Rosamilia, who had been overseeing corporate strategy, to take charge of the hardware division, replacing Rod Adkins.

The hardware business continues to drag the company down, with revenue declining 17 percent in the third quarter.

Bramante’s reassignment was reported earlier today by the Wall Street Journal.

IBM fell 6.4 percent to $174.83 at the close in New York for the biggest decline since April. The shares have slipped 8.7 percent this year.

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