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EMC grabs another HP exec

Thinning the Compaq herd

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EMC has plucked another storage executive from HP's leadership ranks, hiring Mark Sorenson to help its software push.

It's no secret that EMC and HP are locked in a bitter battle, and Sorenson's shift in loyalties does little to help the situation. Last year, EMC hired its current CTO Mark Lewis away from HP, causing a minor public relations war. Now, Lewis appears to be recruiting his friends.

EMC has taken its sweet time to announce Sorenson's arrival. He actually left his post as Vice President of the storage software division at HP weeks ago. EMC was apparently busy creating a title for their latest recruit, as they have opened a new position for Sorenson as Senior Vice President of information access and recovery software. He will, of course, report to Lewis.

Both Lewis and Sorenson are former Compaq folks, and their exits from HP are a blow to the company. The old Compaq storage division is one of HP's most prized post-acquisition assets. HP still appears to have solid momentum in the storage market, but it's never good to have too much executive fallout.

For EMC, Sorenson's arrival could provide a much needed boost. EMC has been battling to raise software revenue and make its applications business as strong as the hardware side of the house. So far, this strategy has not worked as planned with software sales coming in flat during EMC's second quarter.

With the acquisition of Legato, the pressure will be on the Marks more than ever to turn things around. ®

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