Rich Lechner was named Vice President of IBM's newly formed IT Optimization business unit in March, 2007. In his current role, Mr. Lechner oversees an extensive portfolio of solutions that combine hardware, software and IBM services to help IBM customers simplify, better manage and do more with their existing infrastructures. As part of this, he is responsible for IBM's virtualization, grid and platform management offerings.
Prior to this role, Mr. Lechner has held a number of business leadership positions at IBM. From November, 2005, Mr. Lechner served as Vice President of IBM Virtualization where he was responsible for overseeing and growing the industry's largest and broadest portfolio of software, server and storage virtualization solutions. From 2004 through late 2005, he served as Vice President of Marketing for IBM's Storage Systems Group where he was responsible for IBM's product management strategy for the complete line of hardware and software storage products. Prior to that, Mr. Lechner was IBM's Vice President, Marketing and Sales, for Enterprise Servers within IBM Systems Group, including its flagship IBM eServer zSeries (System z) mainframe portfolio from 1999 through 2003. He served as Vice President of Sales Support for IBM's entire eServer family of products, including its UNIX (System p) and Intel-based (System x) x86 servers. During his eServer tenure, Mr. Lechner was responsible for transforming customer businesses into e-businesses and directing the company's Customer Design Centers and Advanced Technology Centers.
Mr. Lechner has also held senior development, marketing, and sales positions with IBM in both the United States and Europe including serving as Sales Manager for IBM Software Group's largest accounts from 1994 to 1997. In addition, he was director of Strategy for IBM Software Group and was instrumental in establishing the company's commitment to Linux and open standards. Lechner spent ten years as a programmer for IBM and began his career at IBM as a micro-code programmer in the Financial Services Industry.
Mr. Lechner holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from UCLA.