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Sun veteran to join Seagate board

The disk-drive maker, with an IPO in the works, says that former Sun Microsystems President Ed Zander will take a place on its board of directors.

Former Sun Microsystems President Ed Zander will join the board of directors at disk-drive maker Seagate.

Seagate, which is planning a new initial public offering, announced on Tuesday that the 15-year Sun veteran will become a member of its board. But the company did not offer details on just how involved Zander will be in its day-to-day affairs.

The Scotts Valley, Calif., drive maker had been a public company, but went private as part of a complicated buyout deal in 2000. Its plans for a second initial public offering come at a very difficult time in the ultracompetitive PC and server market, where Seagate sells most of its hard drives.

But unlike before its buyout, Seagate has been making efforts to expand beyond the PC market. As previously reported, it enjoys a bigger piece of the growing storage systems market, in which numerous drives are bundled inside network-attached storage gear sold by a range of companies such as EMC. The company is also now profitable.

Zander, who retired from Sun on July 1, hasn't said much about his future plans. His successes at Sun have often put him on the shortlist of candidates for companies looking for new chief executives.

Before becoming president of Sun, Zander ran the company's computer systems organization. Prior to that, he had been vice president of marketing for minicomputer maker Apollo Computer. He also spent time at Data General, another minicomputer manufacturer.