HP Hires Hitachi CEO

Ex-HDS exec leaves HDS on good terms to head up HP StorageWorks

May 26, 2007

2 Min Read
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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."HP and Hitachi have been longstanding partners for many years, collaborating in areas ranging from personal computers to storage solutions. As Hitachi and HP are always looking for ways to enhance and expand the current strategic business relationship, Daves presence at HP will most certainly enable us to further build and strengthen an already strong partnership and take it to new heights."

Whether Roberson's appointment signals some sort of deeper storage relationship remains to be seen. But for now, Roberson will have his hands full getting HP's storage back on track in the wake of its recent slowdown. (See HP's Storage Slowdown.)

Meanwhile, HDS has a new CEO effective today: Minoru Kosuge. Also a longtime veteran of HDS (he started in 1980), Kosuge served as COO since April 2006. His past HDS jobs included EVP and chief storage architect, and he led development of the TagmaStore platform.

Also moving up at HDS is Jack Domme, up to now EVP of global solutions strategy and development. He is now promoted to COO.

Gallo says formal announcements of the HDS appointments are on the way.At least one analyst, who asked not to be named, sees the move as a positive one for Roberson. "Dave have been at HDS a long time. Being CEO of HDS is a much lower level position than being the [head of] HP StorageWorks."

Stay tuned for more as this story unfolds.

— Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

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