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HP Only Gets a Piece of Donatelli

HP hired him to run servers, storage and networks - but storage is now a no-go

A Massachusetts court has decided that the former president of EMC’s storage business, David Donatelli, until a few weeks ago the company’s number two guy in charge of the bulk of its ~$15 billion in revenues, can go to work for HP after all. He just can’t do the job he was hired for.

HP hired him to run servers and storage – and because of the noise coming from Cisco’s direction, it threw in networking too. Few people this side of Cisco know more about Cisco’s plans than Donatelli because EMC and Cisco are as thick as thieves.



But the judge, which entered an order proposed by EMC, is holding Donatelli to his word and the non-compete he signed with EMC and won’t let him run HP’s storage operation for the next year.

When Donatelli up and defected last month, the first thing he did was petition a California court to release him from his promise to EMC because California, where HP lives, doesn’t recognize non-competes.

EMC in turn asked the Suffolk County Superior Court of Massachusetts, which does recognize non-competes, to enforce the pledge and stop Donatelli from joining HP, which it did immediately with a preliminary injunction.

So now HP has a storage guy running its server operations; Hitachi can stop popping pills over the idea of its greatest foe running one of its biggest OEMs; and Paul Maritz, the CEO of EMC’s prime holding VMware, can execute on what it’ll take to get him named to replace EMC CEO Joe Tucci. Unless of course EMC gets sold first as many a Wall Street pundit speculates these days.

And in the interim, HP has anointed SVP and general manager of its StorageWorks Division Dave Roberson to run its storage operation.

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