IBM Spins Off Watson Marketing, Backed By Centerbridge Partners

IBM's former company, Watson Marketing, launched as a stand-alone business on Monday to take on Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce and others.

The move, announced in April, centers on the sale of the marketing platform and the commerce software to Centerbridge Partners, an investment management firm.

The spinoff will announce its new name and brand on July 15. It will offer marketing automation tools, marketing analytics, advertising, and content management tools. 

CEO Mark Simpson of the company formerly known as Watson Marketing acknowledged that the company is a "promising" competitor to major cloud marketing companies such as Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce. Simpson was formerly VP of offering management and strategy at Watson Marketing when it was owned by IBM.

"With over 1,000 people on day one, we’re far from a small company," he wrote in a blog post, "and yet we’re also able to be one of the nimblest and most responsive to industry changes of any other marketing cloud."



Simpson's enthusiasm is the result of not being weighed down by unrelated businesses and large company structures similar to its competitors, but the management team has the experience and the capabilities to match their services.

The company will focus on removing obstacles for marketers, not creating new ones through technology. The first priority is for its products to improve their ability to connect with each other. Another challenge is education.

"Better education programs for our customers -- both about our products and about the forward-thinking insights we get from the industry – will lead to better outcomes," Simpson wrote. "We plan to share these insights in a new customer community, in-person events, onboarding programs, and a brand-new customer summit in 2020."

The new executive team also includes Tara Thurston, CFO; Brent Whitaker, SVP of customer support and services; Matt Marriott, SVP of sales; Jay Henderson, SVP of product management; and Doug Geiger, SVP of engineering.

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