IBM has appointed a new chief executive for the UK & Ireland, David Stokes, who will replace his predecessor, Stephen Leonard, effective immediately.

Leonard, who served in the position since February 2010, has been named as IBM’s new general manager of Global Markets, Systems and Technology Group.

Stokes began his IBM career in his native Australia and has been an IBM UK employee since 1994, where he has held a number of senior executive positions.

Most recently he was based in Prague as IBM’s general manager of Central and Eastern Europe, and has also previously held a post in Shanghai where he served as IBM’s vice president of general business for its Growth Markets division.

Stokes will be based in IBM’s Southbank offices in London and began in the role earlier this week.

In other news, it was recently revealed that Veyance Technologies, the exclusive manufacturer of Goodyear Engineered Products, has ditched its traditional outsourcing relationship with IBM after it failed to perform to acceptable service levels, and is in the process of moving its SAP applications to infrastructure-as-a-service provider Virtustream.