Analyst: HP to lose storage exec to EMC

A top Hewlett-Packard Co. storage executive is leaving the company to join rival EMC Corp,. where he is likely to take on the role of chief technology officer, according to a Gartner Inc. industry analyst.

Mark Lewis, HP's vice president of network storage solutions, has already notified HP of his planned departure, said Carolyn DiCenzo, chief analyst for storage management software at Gartner, who said she was informed of the move by HP. Lewis was formerly a top executive with Compaq Computer Corp.'s storage division.

Lewis is set to join storage giant EMC and become its chief technology officer (CTO), replacing current EMC Senior Vice President and CTO Jim Rothnie, who will retire, said DiCenzo, adding that the shuffle at EMC has yet to be announced officially.

HP did not return calls seeking confirmation Wednesday, and EMC, in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, could not immediately be reached.

Two industry sources who preferred not to be identified said they too had been contacted by HP about the shuffle, and also expected Lewis to replace Rothnie as EMC's CTO.

EMC plans to announce Rothnie's retirement in the coming days, possibly on July 18 when it reports its second-quarter earnings, DiCenzo said, adding that Rothnie is expected to stay on as a consultant for EMC.

Rothnie is a respected industry veteran who has also worked at Data General Corp. and Computer Corporation of America (CCA). He was president and chief operating officer at CCA, which is credited with the early development of database management software.

The move would mark one of the first top-level executive departures from HP since its merger with Compaq earlier this year.

HP has partnered with Hitachi Data Systems Corp. to sell that companies high-end storage products. These systems compete head-to-head with hardware from EMC and IBM Corp.

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