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EMC taps IBM veteran for CTO job

Newly appointed EMC chief technology officer Jeffrey Nick makes move after storied 24-year career at Big Blue.

EMC Corp. announced Friday the appointment of former IBM fellow Jeffrey Nick to the position of senior vice president and chief technology officer. The move comes at a vital time for EMC, with its recent acquisitions and newly formed software division.

The 50-year-old Nick will be filling a vacant post, as there was no official CTO at EMC. Former CTO Mark Lewis moved over to executive vice president of software a year ago. Since October 2003, Howard Elias, EMC executive vice president, corporate marketing and office of technology, has been in charge of the company's "office of technology," which is responsible for defining EMC's technology strategy and working with the industry on standards. It's interesting to note that Elias and Lewis, like Nick, left competitors to join EMC. Both Lewis and Elias came from Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP).

Since Lewis left the CTO post, chief technologists have been heading up the different organizations of the office of technology, such as software and platforms. As CTO, Nick will not be supervising these organizations; the lead technologists in those organizations will continue to set the technical direction. However, Nick will be responsible for the company's overall strategy, with input from the individual organizations.

Some of the technologists Nick will work with are CTOs of companies that EMC has recently acquired, including VMWare, Documentum and Legato. VMWare is a separate subsidiary with their own CTO. Documentum and Legato, on the other hand, are part of EMC's software group. Nick will still report to Elias, who called Nick "a recognized leader and innovator who brings us a depth of valuable experience."

A 24-year veteran of IBM Corp., Nick left the company last June. At the end of his tenure, Nick held the title of IBM fellow, and during his career was responsible for the design and architecture of IBM's on demand initiative. He also led IBM's grid computing strategy.

Nick will work directly with EMC users to develop future products. His team will also evaluate data management trends and play a major role in setting technical direction for EMC's mergers and acquisitions.

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