The remodeling of EMC’s executive office suite, CNET Data-driven blog by John Webster

By John Webster, Tuesday, September 15th 2009

Categories: Analyst Blogs

Tags: David Goulden, EMC, Howard Elias, Intel, Joe Tucci, Pat Gelsinger,

Earlier this week, EMC revealed that it has attracted longtime Intel executive Pat Gelsinger to run its storage business.

Gelsinger is set to become president and chief operating officer of EMC’s Information Infrastructure Products (virtually all in EMC’s product group except VMware), including the Enterprise Storage Division, RSA Information Security, Content Management and Archiving, and Ionix IT Management. His direct reports will be Frank Hauck, who now leads ESD, Mark Lewis of CMA, Art Coviello of RSA, and Jay Mastaj of Ionix.

A Wall Street Journal blog post quotes Gelsinger as ultimately wanting to be Intel’s president, but that wasn’t something that was going to happen anytime soon. In that the move is effective immediately, Gelsinger will likely not be a keynote speaker at the Intel Developer Forum, as originally planned.

Pat GelsingerPat Gelsinger
(Credit: Intel)

Gelsinger is an interesting acquisition for EMC, as it diversifies its way toward encompassing more and more traditional IT infrastructure products and services, as well as IT virtualization and emerging cloud-computing models. His chip geek credentials are solid. He wrote the book on programming the 80386, and he designed the original 486 processor. At EMC, he will move to bring to market products based on a tighter integration between existing product lines, as well as those from VMware and some key partners (read Cisco Systems).

While Gelsinger is a hard-driving executive, he reveals an actively spiritual side of himself in his book “The Juggling Act: Bringing Balance to your Faith, Family, and Work.”

While the Gelsinger move seems to have attracted the most media attention, there’s way more to this story. As part of the executive personnel announcement, Howard Elias was promoted to president and chief operating officer of information infrastructure and cloud services at EMC.

Previously, Elias was president of EMC Global Services and EMC’s Ionix IT management group. He will now be responsible for all of EMC’s service groups, including those attached to the products groups. Elias also gets to champion EMC’s moves into cloud services.

For me, the hidden word here is “services.” IBM spawned IGS. HP bought EDS. There’s a void here that I think Elias has to fill. Can Elias give EMC a services powerhouse? Can he successfully blend the more traditional IT services with the newly emerging cloud-computing models? As I see it, those are Elias’ challenges.

What’s going on at the top? First, Tucci believes that the current executive management structure needs to be enhanced and expended, as it progresses from $14 billion in annual revenue to a $20 billion to $25 billion IT infrastructure company capable of competing with the likes of IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Hence the division of responsibility along the line of products vs. services.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Tucci has, with this new management structure, set up something of a three-way, three-year competition to become his successor, as Tucci also announced that he plans to remain president and CEO through 2012. Now in the running, according to the Journal report, are Gelsinger, Elias, and David Goulden, EMC’s current executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Tucci is certainly laying his cards on the table for Wall Street to see, and Wall Street appears to like the move, pushing EMC shares upward over the last week. His latest moves help discourage rumors that EMC is in play as a takeover candidate.

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