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Tivoli chairman steps down

Frank Moss completed his graceful exit from the company he helped catapult to the forefront of the management software market.

Tivoli Systems chairman Frank Moss completed his graceful exit from the company he helped catapult to the forefront of the management software market today, heralding the end of an era at the rambunctious firm.

Jan Lindelow, current chief executive officer and president of the IBM subsidiary, will add the chairman's position to his title, an ascension that began in June of last year when he joined Tivoli as president and chief operating officer.

Moss's departure,

Frank Moss
Frank Moss
a foregone conclusion since last year, comes amid an often high-pitched duel for customers between Tivoli and competitors such as Computer Associates and Hewlett-Packard.

Moss will serve as a consultant on strategic issues for Tivoli, but plans to start his own venture-oriented firm called Strategic Software Ventures in the Boston, Massachusetts area.

Since Moss's arrival at Tivoli in 1991, the company has gone from a high-flying start-up to a publicly traded enterprise management software player to a component within IBM's sprawling software holdings.

At the time of IBM's $750 million deal for Tivoli in the spring of 1996, some viewed it as a sign that the fiesty management software specialist would lose its edge, but IBM left Moss in charge of Big Blue's entire management strategy and maintained a hands-off approach, similar to its strategy in the aftermath of the Lotus Development acquisition.

"The company's doing absolutely fabulously. We're exceeding any goals we had at the time of the merger," Moss said in an interview today. "Jan's done a great job at continuing the growth as well as maintaining the culture."

Lindelow said the only difference between his approach and Moss's will be his previous experience at implementing global business structures for large firms. "Our challenge is to keep executing and to make smart choices as far as future investments," Lindelow said.

Echoing previous remarks, Moss he is most surprised by the fact that the management software industry he is leaving is faced with the fact that "computing has become more complex, not less," with the introduction of "thin client" hardware concepts and the proliferation of Java-based software.

Moss also took a parting shot at competitor CA, saying he continues to be struck at how successful that firm is at marketing "hype and smoke."

"It's been a tremendously fun game," Moss said. "I think that's what I'm going to miss the most."