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Former Verizon Cloud Chief Surfaces at IBM

November 13, 2015, 3:24 PM UTC
Photograph by Getty Images

John Considine, who was chief technology officer for Verizon’s cloud business after the telecom giant bought his startup CloudSwitch in 2011, has surfaced at IBM. He is now vice president of IBM’s Cloud Innovation Lab, a company spokesperson confirmed Friday, although the news has not been formally announced.

Considine, who left Verizon quietly about a year ago, will lead the architecture and design of IBM’s cloud platform, according to IBM. The Cloud Innovation Lab works with other cloud groups in IBM(IBM) Research and elsewhere in the company.

Verizon, and other major telecom companies, are still crafting their respective responses to Amazon (AMZN) Web Services’ public cloud onslaught, but thus far have struggled to find traction. Public cloud is a massive array of servers, storage, and networking gear that businesses can rent out as needed instead of expanding their existing server rooms or data centers.

Verizon (VZ) bought Terremark and then CloudSwitch in 2011 in order to offer similar services, but ran into trouble integrating Terremark’s data centers with its own telecom-centric infrastructure, sources have said.

That led to reports last week, since denied, that Verizon is trying to sell off the enterprise infrastructure underlying its cloud. IBM, Microsoft (MSFT), and other legacy information technology companies are also working to compete better with Amazon. This includes hybrid cloud technologies that let business customers keep some data and applications on premises or at least on company-controlled servers and storage, while putting other work on shared public cloud infrastructure, including AWS, Microsoft (MSFT) Azure, and Google (GOOG) Compute Cloud. IBM bought SoftLayer for roughly $2 billion two years ago largely to catch up with AWS, which has been around in some form since 2006.

Who’s putting what data and workloads into which cloud will be a big topic at the Structure Conference next week, so check it out.

And for more of chief executive Ginni Rometty’s take on IBM’s strategy, check out this Fortune video:

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