April 4, 2019 | Written by: Mark Simpson
Categorized: Commerce | Marketing
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Opportunities like this don’t come very often in a business.
Last month at IBM Think, I stood on stage and told customers that we were announcing something soon, something that makes me more excited about the future than I’ve ever been. Today, that something new begins with the announcement that Centerbridge Partners plans to acquire IBM’s marketing platform and commerce software offerings, pending regulatory review and other closing conditions. After closing, the intent is that these offerings will form the foundation of a new marketing and advertising technology company that will deliver a comprehensive portfolio of modern solutions to meet the CMO’s biggest challenges.
This news comes at an important moment in the history of our industry. The market is moving faster than ever, and clients’ expectations are growing as fast as consumers’. With the backing of Centerbridge, this new company plans to address the marketing professional’s needs with a new approach by further investing in AI, growing the marketing ecosystem, and giving marketers tools to protect user privacy.
In its announcement, Centerbridge stated that the new company, to be named after the deal closes, will focus on building the next generation of marketing. The industry-leading products our customers know and love today, from Campaign Automation to Content Hub, will be the foundations of an exciting future. Additionally, Centerbridge is committed to investing in growing the vision and create a company set up to successfully lead the marketing and advertising software industry for years to come.
Above all, clients will benefit most in this new chapter, as they have always been at the center of everything we do. Over the last two and a half years we’ve made significant investments in the products; the entire team has made tremendous strides embedding AI into the marketer workflow, designing products that are intuitive and easy to use, while also capable of advancing the customer experience. None of that will change at the new company (which will be formed after this deal closes).
IBM and Centerbridge are committed to a smooth transition, so clients can continue business as usual, and with Centerbridge’s investment, roadmaps can be accelerated and new product categories can be entered so that our clients can keep winning, now and in the future.
Since I joined IBM, I’ve been amazed by the talented people who surround these products and help solve our customers’ needs every day. I can’t emphasize enough how the people who power this platform today are crucial to the vision for its future.
I couldn’t be happier to announce that after the transaction closes, much of the excellent leadership, and the teams that surround these products today, are expected to join the new company. From a leadership perspective: Tara Thurston as CFO, Brent Whitaker leading Customer Success, Matt Marriott leading Sales, Jay Henderson leading Product, Doug Geiger as CTO, and myself as CEO. Those who work closest with me know I have a passion for building and growing businesses, and that’s precisely what we plan to do again.
We’ve always been laser-focused on delivering purpose-built AI for marketers, built on an open and connected ecosystem, with modern and proven products for the next generation of marketing. To be able to take great products and advance them even further isn’t an opportunity that happens often. This next chapter is a chance to go forward and define the industry, and I can’t wait to share more about our plans in the coming weeks.