Trouble brews for Gartner

Analysts who usually advise companies on how to brace against adversity have instead found themselves in the hot seat, thanks to Gartner's acquisition of Meta Group.Sources have confirmed that Meta Asia-Pacific research director Kevin McIsaac and its Technology Research Services vice president John Brand were among the casualties of the US$168 million merger between the two research firms.

Analysts who usually advise companies on how to brace against adversity have instead found themselves in the hot seat, thanks to Gartner's acquisition of Meta Group.

Sources have confirmed that Meta Asia-Pacific research director Kevin McIsaac and its Technology Research Services vice president John Brand were among the casualties of the US$168 million merger between the two research firms. Both analysts are highly regarded in media and end-user circles in the Australian and Asia-Pacific IT industry.

Terry Pascoe, the Gartner executive overseeing the transition exercise in Australia, declined to reveal why the duo were not retained. "Company policy says we can't disclose reasons," he said.

The sources also told ZDNet Australia&nbsp that Meta's Asia-Pacific managing director Mary Ann Maxwell, along with senior analyst Brian Prentice and Michael Barnes, another vice president at the company, will continue at Gartner.

Pascoe confirmed their appointments, saying Maxwell will be part of Gartner's executive programs team. Prior to joining Meta, she was CIO for Westpac Banking.

He couldn't confirm the total number of employees laid off in Australia.

"Some people were offered new contracts by Gartner but the terms were [so] unsatisfactory, they rejected it outright," one source said.

It is understood that a few Meta employees have sought legal advice largely due to a six-month non-compete clause, which bars them from joining another research firm within that period.

One Meta customer, who requested anonymity, said McIsaac's departure would be a loss but Gartner's bid to block people from finding new jobs was "absolutely unreasonable".

Meanwhile, Gartner has cancelled Meta's annual technology conference called METAmorphosis, which was due to take place in May in Sydney.

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