Federation is golden, says EMC II boss Goulden

They say that breaking up is hard to do, now I know, I know that it's true

Hercules stealing the golden apples of Hesperides

David Goulden, CEO of EMC Info Infrastructure, said breaking up the Federation would be the wrong thing to do, while speaking at the Code/Enterprise Series conference in New York on Tuesday.

EMC’s Federation includes EMC II, Pivotal, Virtustream and VMware, which are run as semi-independent companies, with VMware having had a part-IPO and its valuation being far higher than that of parent EMC.

This disparity has attracted activist investor Elliott Management, which has been pressing the case for a VMware spin-off as a way of increasing EMC shareholder value. A standstill agreement about its activities in that direction is understood to expire at the end of September.

Reuters reports Goulden as saying: "We strongly believe breaking up is the wrong thing to do. We think having a better federation is the right way to create value.” He said EMC’s board will continue to talk to Elliott, as it does to “all of our shareholders”.

Having a “better federation” is code, we understand, for both better co-ordinated product strategies with less competitive overlap and more sales co-ordination between Federation member companies.

That implies that EMC itself will have to crack a co-ordinating whip over the heads of Federation company CEOs. No more light-touch management.

Could Goulden succeed EMC CEO and chairman Joe Tucci, who is surely soon to retire? "I love my job," Goulden said. "It is the best one I have had. Beyond that, you will have to ask the board how they manage the process."

The big apple inside the Federation is running EMC itself. It's a golden delicious. Fancy a bite of that David? You betcha. ®

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