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Data Domain Digs Up CEO

Disk backup startup names ex-Borland exec Frank Slootman its CEO. Or is it 'funeral director'?

Frank Slootman, who starts his job this week as president and CEO of disk backup appliance startup Data Domain, has a slightly unorthodox way of explaining his interest in the storage industry.

"Storage is a little like the funeral business -- it's going to be around forever and ever," he says. [Ed. note: Except storage folks don't have that funny smell... usually.]

The 44-year-old Slootman comes to Data Domain with a heavy software pedigree. Previously, he was senior VP of products at Borland Software Corp., a vendor of application development tools. Before joining Borland, Slootman held various management positions at another software tools company, Compuware Corp. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

He replaces Data Domain's acting CEO, Aneel Bhusri, a general partner at Greylock, one of the company's primary investors. The company raised $9.3 million in first-round funding from Greylock and New Enterprise Associates (NEA) in October 2002 (see Data Domain Rakes In $9.3M).

The 27-employee company, founded in September 2001, expects to raise a second round of funding in the second half of 2003. Slootman notes, however, that Data Domain is only "about halfway through" its first round.

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