EMC Forces Out SANgate CEO

Judge rules in the storage giant's favor against Doron Kempel

November 21, 2001

2 Min Read
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EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) has successfully chased a former employee through the courts and off the storage map.

A Boston County court judge has found in the storage giants favor against SANgate Systems CEO Doron Kempel.

EMC slapped a non-compete suit on Kempel when he joined storage startup SANgate earlier this year. EMC claimed that by taking the position, Kempel was breaching the non-compete clause in his employment contract that forbids him from working for a competitor for 12 months after leaving EMC (see EMC Sues Another Ex).

The injunction issued by the court this week prevents Kempel from continuing in his position as CEO at SANgate until August 2002. He is also precluded from working for SANgate in any “policy-making” role, EMC officials said.

“We are pleased to see our employee agreements being upheld,” said a spokesperson for EMC. “It makes it clear to everyone that they are fair.”Doron Kempel was unavailable for comment. “He is determining next steps for the company and is behind closed doors today,” said a SANgate spokesperson.

SANgate is building a SAN appliance with mirroring, backup, and data migration capabilities, for multivendor storage environments. EMC claims this is a competitive threat to its SRDF remote backup software.

But analysts say the competitive threat doesn't exist, because EMC’s software doesn't yet work within heterogeneous storage environments. SRDF runs on EMC Symmetrix storage arrays only -- despite EMC's statement that managing multivendor systems is a key goal.

EMC also is gaining the upper hand in another ongoing non-compete case it has against Eurologic Systems employee Todd Gresham. The judge has granted limited injunctive relief, preventing Gresham from working for Eurologic as an employee. But EMC wants more. Specifically, the company plans to continue prosecuting for broader injunctive relief, barring Gresham from working for Eurologic for one year in any capacity, including consultant, company officials said.

— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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