Hello IBM, I am home !

Earlier today , I accepted IBM’s offer to join them as a VP & Partner in the Strategy and Business Analytics Group . My primary focus will be in helping IBM customers take their business to its next level using modern big data and analytics solutions . It is a technology agnostic role – which makes it very flexible to craft unique solutions and also makes it great fun . Maybe there is even an opportunity to partner with my old gang at MongoDB !

First I am off to India to visit my folks and have a nice vacation before starting at IBM . In many ways , joining IBM is like going home . For all intents and purposes – I “grew up” professionally in IBM . Almost everything I know about leadership , customer success, sales , high quality delivery  etc are all skills I picked up while at IBM . There is a lot more to learn and I am sure this second innings is going to give me an opportunity for exactly that . 

When I decided to leave MongoDB , I certainly knew that IBM would be one of the places I might find a job . I kept my options open and cast a rather wide net . I was talked out of opening a restaurant by some friends (both using data and emotions) . But that still left a bunch of questions on what size of a company , what role ( serious identity crisis having done a lot of different things at work in past ) , location and so on . It was downright confusing – and I took some of my own advice . I started calling my friends and mentors to talk this through . I can’t thank these folks enough for taking my countless calls . Some of them opened doors at places I otherwise wouldn’t have opened on my own  . They are truly my guardian angels .

Those of you that read my blog regularly know my less than gracious thoughts about the broken process of recruiting . Those thoughts are all the more amplified now in my mind . Suffice it to say – more than half the opportunities I stopped exploring happened so because of god awful recruiting processes . Eventually I shortlisted to five companies as potential employers . Four big companies and one startup . 

The recruitment process with IBM was super fast compared to what I expected . Every one from my hiring manager Jerry Kurtz to the GM of North America Lori Steele took the time to meet with me and answer my every question . It was also kind of fun that the executive recruiter Jennette was the technical recruiter a decade ago that originally recruited me into IBM . And last but not least – I owe a lot to my long time friend , mentor and former boss Ken Englund for all his encouragement and support . The extremely high quality of leadership talent that IBM has is a big reason for me to join them . 

My wife did not put any pressure to pick one offer over another . But my ten year old daughter Shreya made it crystal clear that she would like to see me back at IBM . In her first grade – she wrote this inner journal , and it is still her dream job to be a globe trotting IBM engineer. I am glad she won’t be disappointed πŸ™‚ . Turns out my father in law was also rooting for IBM behind the scenes – although he did not explicitly tell me so while I was going through the process . 

It is an exciting time for me to get started again at IBM . The company is in the middle of a significant transformation and I am excited to be part of the journey . Wish me luck !


Published by Vijay Vijayasankar

Son/Husband/Dad/Dog Lover/Engineer. Follow me on twitter @vijayasankarv. These blogs are all my personal views - and not in way related to my employer or past employers

64 thoughts on “Hello IBM, I am home !

  1. Vijay, Congrats. Also thanks for sharing how you did this and the role your mentors and advisors played. Its not often people admit how much they ask for help in thinking these things through and they make it appear they brilliantly accomplished it on their own πŸ™‚


    1. Thanks Gail ! I am never shy to ask for help . When decisions get complex – it helps to talk to as many people that you can trust . And while they all have strong opinions – they all also understood that it was my call at the end .


  2. Hi Vijay,

    You never stop impressing me with your posts. Good Luck in your new job at IBM

    Sr. Technical Recruiter


  3. IBM is lucky to have you back. Have a great vacation in India and you can celebrate in advance of your return as I am sure you will be amazingly successful in your return gig at IBM. Wishing you all the best…


  4. Congrats Vijay,

    I was really curious and finally the suspense has ended and all the best in your new job.
    Hope you find time to blog more frequently and also on Analytics.
    Hope you could also focus on Smart City solutions which have great potential in India.


  5. Congratulation on your second innings with IBM. Looking forward to your blogs on your initial impressions on your part in steering IBM through the transofrmation journey that it has undertaken.


  6. Congratulations on joining back Big Blue that too as a VP (double jump since you left πŸ˜‰ ) and shift in line of business.
    Cannot say Welcome Back as I have left IBM last month but definitely all the best wishes. Enjoy your India vacation, would like to catch up in case you are around Bangalore.


      1. If you offer something in your BU (is it part of Watson Group where Arun Sharma has moved or separate) then I am definitely interested. I have been investing personal time in Analytics / Data Science area considering IoT context.


  7. Congrats Vijay and welcome back! It is a real privilege for IBM to have you back again and I hope I can again work with you sometime in near future.


  8. I left a comment on your blog a few weeks ago as you were leaving MongoDB. Now here you are sharing the news of your move back to IBM. I have always associated you with IBM. We met while you were working there. I remember a video Dennis made of you and Vishal. As I recall I wrote a post about it, too. In fact I idd: http://readwrite.com/2011/03/19/ibms-watson-and-sap-hana-a-wor

    I was new to the enterprise world then. You were one of the people I turned to for explanation and insight. I owe you a big thanks for that. You were also one of the few people who have come to our home for dinner. I hope someday we get the chance to meet your family, too. πŸ™‚

    One more thing. Your daughter might want to be an engineer and travel the world but she can do that and be a journalist, too! We’ll have her all over the world, writing and podcasting for The New Stack! πŸ™‚ Cheers and a big congratulations. I owe you a call. I’ll save it for when you return from a well deserved vacation.


    1. Hey Alex – you are the ONLY journalist with whom I have had a dinner at their house . I will be honored to host you and family at my home . Let me know the next time you are in Phoenix .

      Let’s definitely talk when I am back from INDIA .

      Shreya probably will love being a journalist more than an engineer . That is the one thing I am most curious about – what path my little girl will choose for herself


  9. Congrats Vijay and welcome back! This is really a great news and a real privilege for IBM to have you back. I hope to work together with you sometime again soon. As you are coming to India any plan to visit the Kolkata office as well?


  10. Congratulations Vijay…….Big Blue would love to have new thought, new leadership….. is it coincidence that you are wearing blue on your profile picture?


  11. Happy for you. Congrats. My wife too is in IBM for the past 3 years and IBM is one of my premium customers. Wish you have a wonderful second innings there. All the Best.


  12. You are a wonderfully amazing person, Vijay !! Super excited for you , your family , IBM and me !! Thrilled that we will be working together, again. Congratulations !!!!


  13. Vijay


    Am ex Ibmer myself. Left it for competition early year after being fed up with internal focused culture rather than customer focussed.

    Would like to know what you saw different in a company going down the spiral for obvious reasons.


    1. There is no denying that not everything is rosy in IBM . However , as I talked to the team there – I got a feeling that things are changing for the better . And analytics is a growth opportunity . It will take time to turn around a big ship like big blue and I got convinced that I can play a part in that . Of course only time will tell whether I made the right call or not


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