IBM parts company with Merlin Stone

IBM business research leader and marketing consultant Merlin Stone is cutting his ties with the technology giant after a 12-year association.

Stone has spent five years on the IBM Business Consulting Services payroll, and was a sponsored professor and research expert for seven years beforehand. He has been responsible for developing cutting-edge customer management programmes for clients including British Airways, Boots, HSBC and Norwich Union. He has also been a government adviser on pensions and has worked with motor licensing body Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Admitting his “controversial” techniques had “chafed” with IBM in recent times, he says he is quitting to become a director of change management consultancy WCL. The company mainly deals with public sector clients, but Stone is joining to develop a private sector service.

He says: “I wanted to do something different. I take the view that if you want clients to think you have something to contribute, you can’t just turn out general market research.”

Stone, who has written 30 books on marketing and has experience covering the automotive, energy, financial, IT, retail, telecoms, travel and transport and utilities sectors, will remain a director of NowellStone Search and Selection, a customer relationship management recruitment specialist.

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