Zambeelian Refugee Heads to Dell

Darren Thomas, former CEO of Zambeel, has joined Dell's storage group, sources say

August 13, 2003

2 Min Read
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Darren Thomas, former president and CEO of defunct NAS startup Zambeel, has joined Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) as a VP in its storage group, sources tell Byte and Switch.

What isn't clear at this point what his arrival means for Russ Holt, VP of enterprise engineering and general manager of Dell's storage group. A source close to Dell says the execs will initially share responsibilities as "two-in-a-box" GMs, with both reporting to Jeff Clarke, Dell's SVP and general manager of products.

"Darren's an engineer at heart, so I just can't see him managing the marketing or outbound side of things," says the source.

Dell spokeswoman Michelle Hanson declined to comment.

Before Thomas joined Zambeel in June 2001, he was VP of advanced technology and business development for Compaq Computer's enterprise storage group (see Khosla's Back, Backing Stealth Startup).In his new role, Thomas will deal with EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) on a regular basis -- which means he'll probably be working again with his old boss, Mark Lewis, who was general manager of Compaq's storage business prior to its merger with Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ). Lewis last year jumped ship to become EMC's CTO and has since become its EVP of open software operations (see Lewis Quits HP for EMC and EMC Sics Lewis on Software).

Dell, of course, is the leading reseller of EMC's midrange storage systems. The two companies recently extended their pact through 2008 (see EMC, Dell Feel the Love).

Thomas's most recent gig did not end happily. In April 2003, Zambeel -- which had developed a high-end, distributed NAS system -- shut down after running through about $66 million in funding (see Zambeel Znuffed Out).

Zambeel's VCs, which included Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates (NEA), have since formed a new company, called StorAD Inc., to bring to market some kind of product based on Zambeel's intellectual property (see Zambeelians Reemerge at StorAD).

Todd Spangler, US Editor, Byte and Switch

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