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EMC's next CEO - a Tucci subject

When Joe goes, who's up?

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Possible successors

EMC's senior executive officers who have been speculated in the past as potential post-Tucci CEOs include:

  • Vice chairman Bill Teuber (not a board director) in charge of worldwide sales and distriobution and an ex-CFO
  • Art Coviello, president of the RSA business
  • David Donatelli, president of the storage business
  • Howard Elias, president of global services

Paul Maritz - recruited to run EMC's cloud business and then parachuted into the VMware CEO spot to replace Diane Green - could also be a candidate, although he is very new to EMC.

El Reg recently learned about a continuity of tenure employment agreement between the EMC board and Tucci, lasting until the end of 2010. Why is this employment agreement in place? Has he threatened to leave before the end of 2010? Is something affecting the control of EMC anticipated to happen before the end of 2010?

An EMC spokesperson said: "This is nothing new. This exact employment agreement was completed in 2007 and disclosed in our 2008 proxy. As he has been doing for many years, Joe continues to work with the EMC Board evolving and advancing EMC's executive succession plan."

According to a person with some knowledge about such things, the entry of Cisco into the blade server business, its OEM'ing of VMware's virtualisation software, and its ten per cent holding in VMware, has influenced the succession planning.

The situation could be that the Joe Tucci CEO succession plan is to have Cisco take over EMC and remove the need for an independent EMC CEO at all. This idea would help explain why EMC has not sold off VMware, made a bundle of money, and obtained a much better price/earnings ratio for its storage business as a consequence. That's the obvious way to add shareholder value to EMC, yet Joe Tucci says VMware is not and will not be for sale.

Apparently Joe Tucci has no VMware stock himself.

A source said that Joe Tucci is sufficiently old now that it is "too late for anyone to come in," indicating that none of the potential candidates above are thought by this person to be of CEO calibre and that the overall EMC CEO succession plan may be to sell EMC and its VMware business to Cisco.

A financial analyst, commenting anonymously, offered this thought: "I don't know about this. I believe that EMC has a deep bench of executives - Donatelli possibly the most visible over the others mentioned. I think making the call that this leads one to conclude that EMC would sell is a bit of a stretch." ®

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