Former IBM Software Exec Steve Mills Joins Bridge Growth Partners

March 21, 2017, 1:16 PM UTC

Steve Mills, the long-time IBM executive who oversaw the company’s software and cloud efforts, is now a senior advisor for Bridge Growth Partners, a private equity firm.

In a statement, Alok Singh, managing principal of New York-based Bridge Growth Partners said the firm was lucky to get Mills.

“During a career spanning more than four decades, he has been at the forefront of change at both IBM and the technology industry. He helped spearhead IBM’s transformational move into software, and was later responsible for its M&A strategy, where he was at the helm of more than 150 successful transactions,” Singh wrote.

That acquisition experience could come in handy for Bridge at a time when private equity firms are extremely active in tech mergers and acquisitions.

Mills, who joined IBM (IBM) right out of Union College in 1974, retired a year ago after 43 years at the tech giant. In 1995, he played a large role in shaping IBM’s newly formed Software Group, which he was tapped to lead in 2000 as senior vice president. In 2015, Mills was named executive vice president and reported to chief executive officer Ginni Rometty.

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A big part of Mills’ job at IBM was organizing dozens of product and research groups that all had their own agendas. He also had to wrangle IBM’s sometimes fraught relationships with Microsoft (MSFT) and other tech partners.

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Mills isn’t the only tech veteran at the private equity firm. Last fall, Bridge Growth named former EMC chief executive and chairman Joe Tucci chairman, after he completed the $63 billion sale of EMC to Dell, in the tech industry’s largest acquisition to date. Mills is also on the board of insurance giant Marsh and McLennan.

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