Who moved through the top dog turnstile in 2011?

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Promotions, retirement, ousting and death.

The tech sector offered some spectacular executive shakeups in 2011, a year in which several Australians also saw their sphere of influence expanded beyond the continent.    

Starting at home, the year opened with the surprise departure of IBM Australia's managing director, Glen Boreham who called it quits in January and was replaced by PwC-IBM Global Services chief Andrew Stevens.

Fujitsu’s Australian CEO Rod Vawdrey earlier this year moved up the ranks of the Japanese giant to become president of it global business group. In other words everything outside of Japan.  

The same month VMWare Australia's MD Paul Harapin took the virtualization company's vice president role for business development and cloud for Asia Pacific and Japan.   

These regional rises followed Microsoft's former Australian managing director Tracey Fellows' December 2010 Singapore sling where she is now Redmond's vice president for Asia Pacific. Her Australian replacement Pip Marlow took up the reins this January.   

In June, Cisco's Australian MD Les Williamson stepped up to become the networking company's Asia Pacific lead. His ANZ shoes were filled last week by Sara Adams.   

The real power-brokers in Australian technology though remain on the buy-side with CIOs, but signs emerged this year their power may be waning, at least in exclusive banking circles. 

Westpac Bank followed ANZ Bank in making the CIO answerable to the chief of operations rather than the CEO when it replaced banking tech veteran Bob McKinnon with Clive Whincup. 

While Commonwealth Bank of Australia's recently retired former CEO Ralph Norris is not strictly from the tech sector, he wielded considerable power over one of the nation's largest single IT spenders, having axed CBA's previous $1.5 billion "Which bank?" IT transformation in 2005, and then in 2008 kicking off its current $1.1 billion core systems overhaul, being led by Dave Curran and the sector's only remaining mega CIO, Michael Harte.  

There was also a change at the helm at of one Australia's largest government technology buyers. Second only to Defence and the Australian Taxation Office, the Department of Human Services (aka Centrelink) lost veteran CIO, John Wadeson, who retired this year and was replaced by former ANZ retail bank CIO, Gary Sterrenberg

More recently the Attorney General's Department lost its grip on the nation's cyber command, with that role now falling under the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.  

Internationally, former Apple COO Tim Cook this year quietly slipped in to arguably the largest and most watched shoes in Silicon Valley about two months before the world said goodbye to Steve Jobs

HP, where Jobs scored his first summer job at age 13, again proved an endless source of speculation in 2011. Hot off the heels of Mark Hurd's dramatic 2010 exit, it was Leo Apotheker's walk through the CEO turnstile as HP's would-be iPad-killer flopped, forcing a post-PC identity crisis. Apotheker's seat was filled by Meg Whitman.     

The more stable IBM also saw a leadership change as Sam Palmisano made way for IBM's global sales chief Virginia Rometty, while Google got a new leader in the form of the now grown-up co-founder Larry Page, who took the reins from former chief Eric Schmidt.  

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