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Donatelli can start work at HP

Court restriction rescinded

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A Massachusetts court that said ex-EMC storage head David Donatelli could not start work at HP has changed its mind.

When Donatelli abruptly left EMC late last month to join HP and run its servers, storage and networking businesses, EMC filed a suit in the Suffolk County Superior Court of Massachusetts, claiming that a non-compete clause in his employment contract prevented him taking up such a post. That court issued an order temporarily preventing him from taking up his new post.

Donatelli filed a suit in a California court seeking to have the no-compete clause struck down.

The Massachusetts court has now lifted most of its temporary restraining order. Donatelli can walk in to his new HP office and commence work as HP's executive VP in charge of its enterprise servers and networking. It is understood that he will be reporting to Ann Livermore, executive vice president of the Technology Solutions Group at HP.

However, the Donatelli post originally included responsibility for storage in the shape of HP's StorageWorks division. The court has decided that that responsibility should be withheld, with StorageWorks head David Roberson reporting not to Donatelli, but to Ann Livermore.

This situation will continue until the court makes another ruling, or decides upon the outcome of EMC's case that the no-compete clause in Donatelli's contract should be enforced, preventing Donatelli taking up the new role at HP.

The reason why the court has changed its mind is not known, but one can imagine that HP could have made representations to the court about Donatelli's server and networking responsibilities not competing with any of his storage responsibilities at HP.

HP stated it "is pleased with the court’s recent decision and looks forward to the contributions Donatelli will make to HP’s business." ®

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