EMC signs storage exec from HP

The data storage company has hired Howard Elias to work on new ventures, making him the latest high-level HP manager to jump ship and end up working for a rival.

Data storage company EMC has hired former Hewlett-Packard executive Howard Elias, the latest high-level HP manager to jump ship and end up working for a rival.

EMC said Wednesday that Elias will manage emerging business initiatives and help identify new growth opportunities in so-called "information lifecycle management," which refers to methods for storing and tracking data from the time it is created to the time it is deleted. As executive vice president of new ventures, Elias will report to Joe Tucci, EMC's president and chief executive.

Elias, 46, had been HP's senior vice president of business management and operations for the Enterprise Systems Group. Before that, he was general manager of Network Storage Solutions at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based tech giant. Elias also spent three years as vice president and general manager of Compaq's Storage Products Division.

"Howard is a recognized leader throughout the IT industry and brings a wealth of experience that will help EMC deliver on our vision of becoming the ultimate information lifecycle management company," Tucci said in a statement.

HP has lost a number of high-level managers recently. Mark Sorenson, a vice president in the storage software division, and John Jackson, a director of business continuity services for the Americas, left the company. Jackson was at his HP post for less than four months before moving to competitor IBM, where he oversees Big Blue's business continuity and recovery services group.

HP spokesman Brian Humphries said Wednesday that the recent loss of managers does not signal trouble at the company. He pointed to recent figures from market research firm IDC on worldwide disk storage system revenue. In the second quarter of 2003, HP had $1.26 billion in revenue, down 0.1 percent from the second quarter of 2002, while EMC's disk storage system revenue slipped by a larger 6.9 percent, to $602 million, according to IDC. HP ranked first in disk storage system revenue, followed by IBM and then EMC.

"HP continues to gain share versus EMC in the disk storage market," Humphries said.

However, EMC spokesman Greg Eden took issue with HP's market share claim. He said the disk storage system revenue figures cited by HP do not give EMC credit for its storage systems sold by Dell. Incorporating those Dell/EMC sales, EMC disk storage system revenue grew 7 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2003 to $762 million, Eden said, citing IDC research.

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