Mountain View, Calif.--Ariba Inc. has hired James Steele as its exec VP-worldwide sales, a new position. Steele will oversee the b-to-b enabler's global sales and report to Larry Mueller, president-COO. Steele comes to Ariba after two-plus decades at IBM Corp., where he was most recently VP-North America Western region. His prior positions include a three-year stint in Tokyo, where he was VP-systems sales. His appointment underscores the emphasis b-to-b technology companies are placing on hiring sales and marketing executives with international experience.