SirsiDynix announced today that Stephen Abram, its Vice President for Innovation, will leave the company to join Gale Cengage as its new Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Markets. Abram has taken a highly visible role for the company, especially on the speaking circuit. He has also overseen the SirsiDynix Institute, an educational program of the company that provides free Webinars, delivered primarily by individuals outside the company, on a variety of topics related to current library issues. Abram joined Sirsi Corporation in March 2004. While Abram did not exercise a great deal of operational responsibility at SiriDynix, he channeled strategic and innovative thinking internally in the company and to a broad external audience.
Abram takes a similar role in his new position at Gale Cengage. He will rejoin Patrick C. Sommers who serves Gale Cengage as its President. Sommers led SirsiDynix as President and CEO from Jan 2001 through Feb 2007. This move also returns Abram to the publishing and content industry, which was his focus prior to joining SirsiDynix. Gale Cengage represents a natural career move when considering the other content companies with which he has been involved, including Micromedia ProQuest (VP for Corporate Development), Carswell Thompson Publishing (Publisher, Electronic Information).
Abram has held elected leadership positions in library organizations such as the Special Libraries Association, the Canadian Library Association, the Ontario Library Association (president 2002).
Abram’s blog, Stephen’s Lighthouse, currently hosted by SirsiDynix will shortly transition intact to a new service.
Abram’s involvement with SirsiDynix has not been without controversy. A white paper he recently authored critiquing open source software unleashed a firestorm of reactions that hammered at the issues that distinguish open source and proprietary software methods.
Following the departure of Abram, others within the company will take a more visible role in the area of articulating its strategic vision, especially individuals such as Talin Bingham, Chief Technology Officer, and Berit Nelson, Vice President Strategic Library Development. This shift allows personnel with direct responsibility for the creation of the products and services of SirsiDynix to voice the underlying vision and strategy.