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Donatelli Finally Joins HP, But Can't Work on Storage (Yeah, Right)

A Massachusetts court says the former EMC executive can go to work at Hewlett-Packard, but he has to stay away from storage systems for 12 months. If you believe that will happen, I've got a nice bridge to sell you.

After 22 years at EMC, David Donatelli is now an employee of Hewlett-Packard. HP got its man, but it (legally) won't be able to make use of his storage expertise for a year. So Donatelli, one of the top storage executives in the industry will have to spend his time learning about and working on servers and networking equipment, delaying HP's plans to put together a business unit under a single leader that can sell integrated packages of servers, storage and networking gear for enterprise data centers.

A Massachusetts state court modified an earlier court order on Tuesday and allowed former EMC executive Donatelli to join HP, but he won't be allowed to work on storage initially. HP issued a statement that said Donatelli began work at the company after the order was entered by the Suffolk County Superior Court.

"Donatelli will serve as executive vice president of Enterprise Servers and Networking," HP said. "Due to certain restrictions in the court's most recent order, Dave Roberson, senior vice president and general manager of the StorageWorks division, will report directly to Ann Livermore, executive vice president of the Technology Solutions Group at HP, until the order is lifted. HP is pleased with the court's recent decision and looks forward to the contributions Donatelli will make to HP's business."

The StorageWorks division was suppose to supervised by Donatelli and become part of the server and networking business unit.

EMC said it was pleased that the court upheld parts of the non-compete agreement that were part of Donatelli's employment contract with EMC. "The judge has entered an order as proposed by EMC that precludes Mr. Donatelli from being engaged in any aspect of HP's business that overlaps or competes with EMC's storage business for a 12-month period," an EMC spokesman said, according to a story by the Reuters wire service.

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