Enterprise storage titan Hitachi Data Systems announced Shinjiro Iwata as its new CEO and president yesterday, along with its goal of overtaking main rival EMC Corp. by 2004.
Iwata replaces Jun Naruse, who will return to Japan as executive officer of Hitachi Ltd.s Information Systems & Telecommunications Group.
''I am very pleased to return to Hitachi Data Systems as CEO, Iwata said, through a press statement. ''I am … impressed with the growth and progress achieved by the company since my earlier tenure here as executive vice president at Hitachi Data Systems just one year ago."
Santa Clara, Calif.-based HDS will now focus on direct sales and global alliances, he said. The company enters 2002 with momentum, including the recent announcement of its HiCommand storage management software, analysts reports this fall that its storage products were winning deals against rivals, and an alliance with Sun Microsystems Inc., of Palo Alto, earlier in the year.
Besides EMC, which has said the Hitachi-Sun alliance is in jeopardy, Hitachi also competes against IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., Compaq Computer Corp., of Houston, and Network Appliance Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif.
The CEO switch, said industry analyst Randy Kearns, of Evaluator Group Inc., is unlikely to mean any strategy shift for HDS. "Its a right of passage," he said from his Greenwood Village, Colo. office. The Japanese, he noted, "have a very good philosophy that before you are promoted to manage a disparate corporation, you have to work in that corporation … its just a normal course of business, so there shouldnt be anything read into this."
The subsidiary of Tokyos Hitachi Ltd. also announced Marlene Woodworth as vice president and general manager, global marketing and operations, and Christine Wallis as vice president global strategy and planning.