Ex-Compaq Storage Chief Joins EMC

Mark Lewis, former head of Compaq's enterprise storage group, takes reins as executive vp of new ventures and CTO at EMC.

Mark Lewis, former head of the enterprise storage group at Compaq Computer Corp., takes the reins as executive vice president of new ventures and chief technology officer at EMC Corp.

Lewis, 40, quit his storage marketing post at Hewlett-Packard Co. earlier this week amid rumors that he was joining EMC, a company that he widely criticized during his tenure at Compaq before the Houston company was bought by HP in May.

In his new role, Lewis replaces Jim Rothnie, the eight-year veteran EMC executive, wholl now be CTO emeritus. Rothnie, 53, is leaving his day-to-day job and will "[continue] to advise EMC on technology issues," according to a statement released this morning by the Hopkinton, Mass., company.

Lewis came to Compaq from its acquisition of Digital Equipment Corp., where he started in 1984. There he oversaw enterprise modular storage and network-attached storage, surpassing EMC in various sales categories. He also launched initiatives for a global storage networking vision and virtualization software, both of which are still in early stages.

A mechanical engineer by training, Lewis has also been a vocal EMC critic.

Initial reactions among industry observers were mixed.

"I see CTO as being a better fit for him than marketing. Hed do a great job," said Gartner Inc. analyst Carolyn DiCenzo, in San Jose, Calif.

However, Shebly Seyrafi, an analyst with A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc., in St. Louis, partially disagreed.

Lewis is good at strategy and its "a real coup for EMC" to hire him away from Compaq, but "hes not qualified to be CTO," Seyrafi said.

The move follows several quarters of other executive and strategy changes at EMC, whose products and pricing have been largely undercut by Lewis Compaq, as well as by IBM, Hitachi Ltd. and Network Appliance Inc.

EMCs major initiatives during the tenure of Rothnie, an MIT-educated PhD., included updates to its high-end Symmetrix, midrange Clariion and network-attached Celerra products. He also oversaw AutoIS, a storage management software plan, and Centerra, a product for data thats accessed often but rarely changes, and which represents a new class of object-based products.

EMC today also announced David Goulden, previously of Amsterdams Getronics N.V., as executive vice president of global marketing and business development. Goulden, 43, is a long-time peer of EMC CEO and President Joe Tucci.

EMC officials were not immediately available for comment this morning.

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