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NetApp Has Kidd for New Group

Jay Kidd, former CTO and VP of marketing at Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), has joined Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) as head of a new group there.

Sources at NetApp confirm that Kidd, a ubiquitous spokesman on Brocade's behalf for five years, will oversee products NetApp acquired with its purchases of Decru and Alacritus, along with its V-Series and NetCache platforms. (See NetApp Buys Decru and NetApp Annexes Alacritus.)

"Expanding our business with products and solutions that work for a variety of third-party storage and other products is important to our customers and to us. Jay is tasked with making that business as successful as possible and we're thrilled to have him on the NetApp team," writes NetApp spokesman Eric Brown in an email today.

Kidd was with Brocade since May 2000 as VP of product management. Formerly, he held jobs at Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) (NYSE: SGI) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), where he apparently met Dan Warmenhoven, now the CEO of NetApp.

The move may help with market perception of NetApp, long typecast as just a NAS supplier. And it comes at a time when growing competition and a lag in delivery of key innovations threaten its position. The company has also struggled to rationalize its recent acquisitions within a larger product portfolio. Management no doubt is looking to Kidd to smooth things out. (See NetApp 'Kinda Screwed Up'.)

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