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After nearly a year, EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) has a chief technology officer: Jeffrey M. Nick, a 24-year veteran of IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), joined EMC this week.

Nick is the first official CTO the company's had since Mark Lewis left the post to become EMC's executive VP of software in the third quarter of 2003. Lewis had followed James Rothnie in the job back in 2002 (see EMC's Rothnie to Depart? and Lewis Quits HP for EMC). Since October 2003, Howard Elias has headed up EMC's "Office of Technology," while also overseeing corporate marketing, new business development, and M&A (see Elias Hops Aboard EMC Express).

Elias should have more time for at least some of those jobs now. Nick takes over the Office of Technology as well as the official CTO title, answering to Elias, who in turn reports to CEO Joseph Tucci. Nick also will supervise the work of the handful of technologists who held CTO posts at the various companies EMC's acquired, including Legato, Documentum, and VMware (see EMC Gobbles Legato, EMC Cops Documentum, and EMC Gobbles VMware).

The move is a testament to EMC's ability to draw top execs from competing companies, a notable trend since Lewis and Elias, among others, jumped ship at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), precipitating what became a leadership crisis at that company (see HP Storage Slammed). It seems IBM is also not immune to the siren song of Hopkinton.

At IBM, Jeffrey Nick had what could only be termed a long and exemplary career: IBM's Website says he joined Big Blue from college in 1980 as a developer on the MVS S/390 mainframe operating system. He subsequently headed up several architectural projects for the S/390, and received awards from IBM for his work in designing and developing the data-sharing technology called Sysplex. He also helped adapt Linux to the mainframe.

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