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Dell gets new storage chief

Darren Thomas, a Compaq veteran who also tried his hand at start-ups, will head up the company's storage division.

Darren Thomas, a Compaq veteran who also tried his hand at start-ups, will head Dell's storage division, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

Storage is one of the markets Dell has targeted for growth. It reported that its storage system revenue rose 46 percent in the most recent quarter. The Round Rock, Texas-based manufacturer largely takes a two-pronged approach to the market: It partners with EMC to develop and sell high-end storage area networks (SANs) but also makes its own PowerVault storage systems for smaller jobs.

Thomas, who holds the title of vice president of storage at Dell, worked at Compaq for more than a decade and held positions in its storage group, Dell spokesman Bruce Anderson said. More recently, he founded Zambeel, a storage company that has since shut down, he added.

Thomas will report to John Medica and Jeff Clarke, who head up Dell's product groups. Russ Holt, the former chief of Dell's storage group, will become co-vice president of enterprise engineering, a group that oversees the design of storage systems and servers.

In the quarter that ended Aug. 1, Dell reported net earnings of $621 million, or 24 cents per share. Revenue for the quarter was $9.8 billion, a figure Dell said was its best to date. During the same period a year ago, Dell reported earnings of $501 million, or 19 cents per share, on revenue of $8.5 billion.