Sun Snares Ex-EMC'er

Fidelma Russo, previously at EMC, joins Sun as VP of quality engineering for network storage

November 25, 2003

3 Min Read
Network Computing logo

Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) has recruited former EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) engineering executive Fidelma Russo to a newly created position as VP of quality engineering for its network storage group.

Russo, who started at Sun on Oct. 20, has been charged with driving quality in the development of Sun's storage products. Based in the Boston area, she reports directly to Mark Canepa, executive VP of the network storage group.

In an exclusive interview with Byte and Switch, Russo says her job description is still in the process of being defined, although it's clear she will be working closely with Sun's distributed storage engineering teams located in Newark, Calif.; Broomfield, Colo.; and Massachusetts. She says the job seems like an "intriguing opportunity."

"One of the things that was important to me was that this was a systems company," she says. "This is more than just a storage role. It's positioning the storage group to work with servers and software."

Russo most recently was VP of advanced storage systems development at EMC, where she worked for Dave Donatelli, executive VP of storage platforms operations, as well as Moshe Yanai, who's considered the architect of EMC's flagship Symmetrix storage system (see Who Calls the Shots at EMC?). In that role, she had input into the initial Symmetrix DMX concept but was primarily focused on developing EMC's strategy around next-generation technologies, including InfiniBand, caching architectures, and storage virtualization switches.She came to EMC through its October 1999 acquisition of Data General, where she had been VP of development for DG's Aviion server line. (EMC phased out the Aviion family about a year and half after the deal closed.) Before joining Data General in 1995, Russo held various engineering positions at Digital Equipment Corp.

Russo, 40, officially left EMC in February 2003 for family reasons, she says. In an interesting coincidence [ed. note: or is it?], Russo is originally from Cork, Ireland -- where she grew up just a few miles from the EMC plant based there.

EMC, we should note, has sued executives who leave its confines to join companies it views as competitors (see EMC Sues Another Ex, EMC Forces Out SANgate CEO, and EMC Offshoot Lifts the Hood).

But Russo says that shouldn't be an issue. For one thing, she says, her noncompete agreement with EMC expired in August 2003. "I very much respect my terms of confidentiality agreement with EMC," Russo says. "I have always had a good relationship with Dave Donatelli and [EMC president and CEO] Joe Tucci."

In addition to Russo's appointment, Sun has named Andy Ingram VP of marketing for the storage group. Ingram, who has been with Sun for eight years, most recently was the "team leader" for Sun's initiative to integrate marketing across all product lines.Kathleen Holmgren, who was previously in charge of storage marketing, is now VP of product line management for storage. In her new role, Holmgren will be responsible for product development across all of Sun's network storage business segments: storage systems, data management and continuance, and storage solutions.

And in other Sun storage VP news, the company has promoted Balint Fleischer, CTO of the storage group, to VP and CTO. We assume this means Balint now has a key to the Sun executive washroom?

Todd Spangler, US Editor, Byte and Switch

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights