Interview

EMC's changing of the guard

Kevin Komiega
Does this reshuffling of top executives signal major change, good or bad, for EMC?
I think that Tucci was brought in originally to assume this role. Clearly, Ruettgers is an operational genius and we don't know what Tucci brings to the table yet, but I'm comfortable that the powers that be at EMC have considered all of this before making the move. People questioned the impact when [EMC founder] Dick Egan brought in Ruettgers, and again when Ruettgers became CEO. Yet, the company did nothing but continue to explode. I don't know Tucci, but if history is indicative, this should not be a negative. Does this reshuffling of top executives signal major change, good or bad, for EMC?
I think it means that they retain an executive with a proven track record and that they get to move an additional executive up to a greater position of influence. This can be nothing but good for EMC. Everybody in storage always looks at EMC to see what it is doing. I think that the industry will take note of this and it will be business as usual. Positioning against EMC will continue as EMC is the company with the largest slice of the storage pie. To those of us outside the company, we're not going to see any change whatsoever. Does this reshuffling of top executives signal major change, good or bad, for EMC?
From a day-to-day operational standpoint, it will probably have very little impact. Both Ruettgers and Tucci are well respected within the organization. I think

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the move allows Ruettgers to focus more intensely on the company's strategic future, something that I think is critical now that the storage industry is moving very quickly and is in a constant state of flux. If Tucci takes over the day-to-day operations, what will be Ruettgers realm of authority?
Tucci is more involved in the day-to-day operations right now. Ruettgers can now focus on strategic issues. Ruettgers will be there to focus on long-term strategic decisions. Tucci, as COO, was in charge of the day-to-day operations. His skills as COO will carry over and be valuable in his new position. If Tucci takes over the day-to-day operations, what will be Ruettgers realm of authority?
Tucci has demonstrated his ability to execute. I anticipate that Tucci will continue to work closely with Ruettgers on where the strategic and tactical meet, but Tucci will be the decision maker for day-to-day operations. Does this reshuffling of top executives signal major change, good or bad, for EMC?
This is a natural progression that occurs in large companies, much like the one that occurred in 1992 with Ruettgers assumed the CEO role. Ruettgers was playing a strategic role for a while anyway with Joe Tucci managing the day-to- day operations. As long as Ruettgers continues that role in his new capacity, we will see no impact at all. Does this reshuffling of top executives signal major change, good or bad, for EMC?
This is an excellent move for EMC. It will allow Ruettgers to chart the future course for the company knowing that the day-to-day operations are in reliable hands. I believe it portends other moves by EMC, such as an acquisition. How will the market respond to Tucci's appointment?
If Ruettgers is pulling back, which we believe is not the case, the market would need to see Tucci play a more visible role before making a decision. By all accounts, Tucci is an extremely capable individual, he just hasn't been as visible as he will need to be in his new role. No one should count EMC out just because of this change. Is there any significance as to the timing of this move?
Only in that I think they want to get this done before they make a major acquisition or launch a transition to a major new product. Is there any significance as to the timing of this move?
The timing is significant for a couple of reasons. Even though IT capital spending will tighten, storage spending will remain strong. I expect that this fact will only drive greater competition across the board in the storage space. EMC is at the same time attempting to expand its opportunity beyond its traditional customer based as evidenced by the introduction of the IP4700 NAS device. A strong statement of vision and daily evangelism from Mike Ruettgers will be necessary for EMC to differentiate in these new markets. However, it is all about execution. The store must be run at its best in a time of increasing competition. If Tucci takes over the day-to-day operations, what will be Ruettgers realm of authority?
I think Ruettgers will have more influence over the strategic positioning of EMC and any acquisition strategies. Tucci, I think, will be the last word on the day-to-day running of EMC. His experience [as CEO] at Wang allows him to take on this challenge. His Wang experience will also help in assimilating any new EMC acquisitions as Wang made a number of acquisitions during Tucci's stewardship. How do Ruettgers' and Tucci's leadership styles differ?
I met Tucci when he was at Wang. He's very affable as well as forceful. He may be more approachable than his predecessor, but that may not be a fair comment as I'm going only on hearsay evidence. Most certainly, they'll work closely together on any major acquisition. How do Ruettgers' and Tucci's leadership styles differ?
Both are hard drivers. That certainly fits in with the way EMC views itself and likes to be viewed in the industry.
Related Topics: Storage vendors, VIEW ALL TOPICS

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