Lance Crosby, the founder of SoftLayer Technologies Inc., has left the company less than two years after it was acquired to become the linchpin of IBM’s cloud strategy.

International Business Machines Corp. bought SoftLayer, which provides a network of data centers to help deliver technology via the Web, in 2013 for $2 billion. Crosby was then tasked with helping adapt the vast portfolio of existing software and services to be available on the cloud.

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