The recovery of IBM's troubled personal computer business had been regarded a year ago as a model for the kind of transformation that IBM's new management team hoped to emulate across the company.
Streamlined, nimble and quick to market with flashy new products, the IBM Personal Computer Co. had come back with a vengeance.
But yesterday, International Business Machines Corp. announced that Robert J. Corrigan, the personal computer unit's president, had resigned and that the management had been reorganized, amid signs that the business has recently stumbled somewhat.
"IBM has clearly lost momentum in the personal computer business," said Richard Zwetchkenbaum, an analyst for the International Data Corp., a research firm. "It has stalled."
Less than two weeks ago, IBM reported surprisingly strong first-quarter profits, and its share price jumped 12 percent in a day. Yesterday, even with the Corrigan announcement, IBM shares rose 50 cents, to close at $58.
G. Richard Thoman, a senior vice president and the group executive in charge of the personal computer business, will take over Mr. Corrigan's duties. Mr. Thoman, 49, said there were no plans to replace Mr. Corrigan.
Mr. Thoman, who joined IBM in December from the RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp., said the resignation of Mr. Corrigan, 53, had been in the works for months.
Mr. Corrigan, who had a 32-year career at IBM, has been credited with guiding the company's comeback in personal computers, after sales fell sharply in the middle of 1992. He could not be reached for comment yesterday.