Hewlett-Packard hires Sun executive

Randy Seidl will lead HP's Enterprise Storage, Servers, and Networking group. In announcing the news, the company also points out Sun's tentative position.

Hewlett-Packard has scooped up a key Sun Microsystems executive, capitalizing on Sun's uncertain future due to a European Commission probe into the company's planned takeover by Oracle.

Randy Seidl
Randy Seidl Sun Microsystems

HP said on Wednesday that it has appointed Randy Seidl as the senior vice president for the company's Enterprise Storage, Servers, and Networking unit. The company hired Seidl directly from Sun, where he was senior vice president of North American Regional Global Sales and Services.

In his new job, Seidl will report to Dave Donatelli, executive vice president of Enterprise Servers and Networking at HP. Donatelli himself is relatively new to HP, having joined the company in April after running EMC's storage division. Seidl at one time worked with Donatelli at EMC.

In announcing its new hire, HP made sure to remind people of Sun's tentative position.

"Customers and partners alike, especially those grappling with the uncertainty of Sun's future, need a technology partner that can eliminate barriers to business growth quickly," said Donatelli. "We anticipate that Randy's knowledge of the real business issues faced by today's CIOs, coupled with his high level of energy, passion for technology and a strong network of channel relationships, will expand HP's success."

According to Seidl's still-live executive bio at Sun, he was the vice president for financial services responsible for the growth and profitability of all Sun's offerings (systems, storage, software, services). The bio also says his sales team was the top global selling unit in 2008 and brought about strong annual growth in margins and sales from 2006 to 2008.

Oracle said in April that it would acquire Sun, the server maker and software company whose assets include the open-source MySQL database. The $7.4 billion deal has been approved by the U.S. Justice Department and by Sun's shareholders.

Sun's outlook has been cloudy since the European Commission opened an investigation into its acquisition by Oracle. As Sun continues to hemorrhage money, vendors such as HP and IBM have profited from the situation by trying to win over worried customers.

The Commission has until January 19 to make a final decision on the Oracle-Sun deal.

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