Businessland Inc., a fast-growing chain of microcomputer stores, named a 25-year IBM veteran as its new president and chief operating officer.

Ronald R. Watkins, 49, assumes the title of president from David A. Norman, who will remain chairman and chief executive of the 3-year-old company.

Before joining Businessland, Watkins was group director of information systems and administration at IBM. Before that, he was vice president for plans and controls and chief financial officer for IBM’s data processing division.

“Mr. Watkins’ broad management experience at a major corporation will be invaluable to Businessland as we continue to grow and mature into a large corporation,” Norman said in a statement. “He will provide additional depth to our strong management team that has taken Businessland from start-up to a $350-million annualized sales rate in three years.”

Businessland, which operates 61 retail outlets nationwide, had income of $230,000 on revenue of $267 million for the year ended June 30.