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GlassHouse Exec Ends Dry Run

Storage service provider GlassHouse is losing its senior VP of worldwide sales after little more than a year on the job -- apparently, with the company's blessing.

According to GlassHouse VP of marketing and co-founder Richard Scannell, it was understood from the start that Dave Ellard, who joined GlassHouse in March 2005 after four years as SVP and CIO at EMC, was a temporary addition to the team.

Scannell and Ellard say everyone was following the advice of venture capital firms when Ellard was hired on last March. At the time, Ellard said he was scoping new opportunities. (See Former EMC CIO Joins GlassHouse.) Seems Ellard wants to head up a technology startup, but the VCs felt he needed some sales management experience before attempting that kind of gig in earnest.

"I have some career aspirations... to run a small company," says Ellard, 48. "I joined [GlassHouse] for the experience." He says VC pals told him he needed to get into a successful startup sales operation to see how it worked and to test his mettle.

One industry analyst, who asked not to be named, said this kind of situation is unusual but not unheard-of. "This is the exception, not the rule. Typically the people involved are friends or share the same VCs or are doing a favor for the VC. Favors can work in either direction." The exec in question could be doing a favor for the VC in working for a startup, the analyst says, or the startup could be doing one for their VC by hiring said exec.

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