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Robert M. Dutkowsky, President, CEO & Chairman, Egenera

Bob Dutkowsky likes to be where the action is. Less than six months after making headlines in a high-stakes merger, he started work at Egenera Inc., a blade server startup with ambitions for an IPO this year.

He'll be busy. Egenera's take on blade computing has put it in the spotlight of IT startups. Its BladeFrame suite of diskless processing modules linked by a proprietary high-speed connection and augmented by virtualization software have caught the interest of a roster of blue-chip customers and helped it score $124 million since its start in 2000.

The most recent funding of $30 million is part of a spate of big fundings this year, marking an uptick of investor interest in light of new market activity (see Egenera Generates $30 Million, It's Raining VC Money, and Window of Opportunity).

Blade servers fall into the networked storage orbit because they promise to further data center consolidation and the spread of grid and utility computing, where storage plays a vital role. Both areas are earmarked for growth (see Grid Networking, page 7). So expectations are high for Egenera, and Dutkowsky's in the hot seat.

But he's used to that. As CEO of J.D. Edwards and Co., an enterprise software firm where he worked from January 2002 until July 2003, he was embroiled in a headline-making and eventually successful acquisition battle when PeopleSoft Inc. (Nasdaq: PSFT), seeking to acquire J.D. Edwards, hit resistance from Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) and its CEO Larry Ellison.

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