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HDS CEO quits for HP storage biz

Dave Roberson, CEO of Hitachi Data Systems since 2006, has jumped ship to HP to run the server giant's storage business.

Hitachi Data Systems Corp. (HDS) CEO Dave Roberson has jumped ship to join Hewlett Packard Co. (HP) as senior vice president and general manager of the company's enterprise storage business, effective May 30, according to HP.

HDS has promoted Minoru Kosuge to CEO and Jack Domme to chief operating officer.

"We will miss Dave … [but] HP and Hitachi have been longstanding partners for many years … Dave's presence at HP will … enable us to further build and strengthen an already strong partnership and take it to new heights," said Mary Ann Gallo, director of global public relations at HDS, in an email to

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While both companies are doing their best to paint a rosy picture of the announcement, slipping it over the wires on the eve of a major public holiday is usually a signal that they would rather not draw too much attention to the news.

"We are not ready to discuss the decision at this time," said an official spokesperson for HP.

According to HP's press release, Roberson will report to Scott Stallard, senior vice president and general manager of HP Enterprise Servers and Storage. He succeeds Bob Schultz, who has continued to run HP StorageWorks after his appointment in January to senior vice president and general manager of the newly formed HP Enterprise Server and Storage Software organization.

HP reported disappointing storage results for its second quarter announced in May. Storage revenue grew just 1% following 3% year-over-year growth in the first quarter. The company blamed weak high-end storage and tape sales for the slowdown. Meanwhile HDS made a round of job cuts in Oct. 2006 and has been reshuffling its executive team ever since.

Analysts say the instability at the executive level at both companies has clearly taken its toll but hopefully both are now on track.

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