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HP Hires Hitachi CEO

In a startling move, Hewlett-Packard has a new boss for its enterprise storage business -- the ex-CEO of HDS. (See HP Appoints Roberson for Storage.)

HP has hired David E. Roberson as SVP and GM of HP's StorageWorks division. Roberson worked at HDS for 26 years. He became COO in 2002, then CEO in March 2006. He starts his new job May 30. He will report to Scott Stallard, senior vice president and general manager of HP Enterprise Servers and Storage.

It was on Roberson's watch that HDS forged its BlueArc alliance in December 2006 and bought Archivas in February 2007. (See HDS, BlueArc in Big NAS Deal, Hitachi Bags Archivas, and Hitachi Pockets Archivas.)

On HP's side, the move to install a new SVP has been anticipated since January, when the company reshuffled its storage deck, separating hardware and software. At the time, former StorageWorks SVP and GM Bob Schultz moved to a new job as VP of the newly formed Enterprise Storage and Server (ESS) Software unit, and the search was on for the new StorageWorks chief -- until now.

At HDS, the executive chair's still warm, and Roberson's CEO bio is still on the Website. But the company is spinning it positively -- and puzzlingly: "While we will miss Dave, we are very pleased to see Dave in his new role at HP," writes HDS spokeswoman Mary Ann Gallo in an email to Byte and Switch today.

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