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EMC Loses Ally in Rollins

Michael Dell's decision to retake the CEO reigns from Kevin Rollins has analysts wondering whether the move will affect Dell's partnership with EMC. (See Dell Replaces Rollins as CEO.)

Dell has co-marketed EMC's midrange Clariion storage systems since 2001 in a move that helps both companies battle common foes Hewlett-Packard and IBM. (See EMC, Dell Feel the Love.) The Dell-EMC partnership has financially benefited both, and the companies recently extended the deal five years to 2011. (See Five More Years.)

EMC CEO Tucci and Rollins often pointed to their close working relationship as one of the keys to the partnership's success. Tucci was a surprise visitor at Dell's Technology Day last fall as the companies extended their deal, while angry investors were calling for Rollins's head. If the Tucci-Rollins relationship was such a key to the partnership, there is a chance it will be weakened with Rollins out.

Goldman Sachs analyst Laura Conigliaro wrote a note to clients today wondering what Rollins's exit will mean for EMC.

"We question the extent to which Kevin Rollins exit from Dell will impact the EMC relationship which, to a large extent, was built on the strength of the relationship between [Tucci and Rollins]," she wrote.

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