Elias Flees HP

Former storage GM Howard Elias has resigned - and sources say he may be headed to EMC

September 16, 2003

2 Min Read
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Howard Elias, who was until recently general manager of the Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) storage group, has quit the company -- and he may be headed for EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), sources tell Byte and Switch.

Elias could not be reached for comment. HP sent us a statement that said, in part: "Howard Elias has decided to leave HP to pursue personal interests outside the company, effective today. [Enterprise Systems Group] Executive Vice President Peter Blackmore announced Elias' departure in a staff email this morning, and thanked Elias for his significant contribution to the company over nine years. Elias leaves HP as a friend and business colleague."

An HP spokeswoman said Elias is "spending time with family and exploring career options." She said she didn't have any contact information for him.

In May 2003, HP merged its server and storage groups, and Elias was moved into a new position as senior VP of a new unit in the Enterprise Systems Group called Business Management and Operations. In that role, Elias was responsible for "managing strategy, planning, and business operations for ESG," according to HP (see HP Fuses Server, Storage Units).

HP says that "as part of the continued simplification of ESG's organization," the company will not hire someone to replace Elias. [Ed. note: That's definitely simpler!]While Elias wasn't directly involved in the storage operations anymore, his departure can be viewed as part of the ongoing management turmoil in HP's storage group. In July, Mark Sorenson, previously VP of the software group in HP's Network Storage Solutions division, jumped to EMC (see HP Exec Bolts for EMC and EMC Hires Sorenson, Promotes Two). Also this summer, Roger Archibald, previously VP of NAS products, left the company (see HP NAS VP Skis Off).

What about the rumor that Elias is moving to Hopkinton? EMC spokesman Michael Gallant declined to comment on whether or not Elias was joining the company.

However, Gallant said: "I think every senior executive in the storage industry is keeping an eye on EMC. We're in touch with many potential candidates. We have a very active recruiting effort."

EMC is still looking to fill its CTO slot, which opened up after Mark Lewis was moved over to head up the software group. Lewis, previously VP of marketing in HP's storage group, joined EMC as CTO and executive VP of new ventures last year (see EMC Sics Lewis on Software and Lewis Quits HP for EMC).

Some industry observers think it's implausible that Elias would decide to follow Lewis to EMC. Steve Duplessie, founder of Enterprise Storage Group Inc., says Elias and Lewis did not part on the best of terms so he would "definitely be surprised" if Elias were to join EMC. "In fact, I would say, 'No way in hell.' "But regardless of whether HP's loss is EMC's gain, Elias's resignation is still HP's loss.

Todd Spangler, US Editor, Byte and Switch

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