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» VIEW ALL POSTS Mar 4 2009   8:02PM GMT

Musical chairs going on in the storage industry



Posted by: Beth Pariseau
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Two storage companies have new CEOs today. Hitachi Data Systems promoted its CEO Minoru Kosuge to chairman and picked its COO Jack Domme to replace him.

Meanwhile, Fusion-io, (the topic of plenty of coverage yesterday) has more quietly replaced its CEO, Don Basile, with its former senior vice president David Bradford.

Fusion-io didn’t officially announce its CEO change, but quoted Bradford and identified him as its CEO in a Tuesday news release about its OEM deal with Hewlett-Packard. He’s also listed as CEO on their executive bios web page.

Bradford’s bio on the site credits him with persuading Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to join the startup. This contradicts a published report from Fortune last month which credited Basile with the publicity-generating hire.

I’ve seen this kind of CEO shift happen at other startups as they enter different phases, in this case from developing product to trying to grow revenue. A similar thing even happened during a transition in VMware’s growth patterns last year when Paul Maritz replaced founder Diane Greene. But while Fusion-io is not a publicly traded company and is not required to announce a change in CEO, the storage community on Twitter took notice of the move with some chatter this morning.

Storage end user and blogger Martin Glassborow wrote on Twitter, “The sudden and rather stealth change of CEO is interesting. You wonder if there has been some direction issues.”

StorageIO Group founder and analyst Greg Schulz Tweeted back,  ”Concur, some normal shuffling of people moving around, however also some attrition, RIFs, and strategy changes as you point out.”

I’ve been in touch with several people at Fusion-io today to try to get to the bottom of the apparent discrepancy over The Woz, but have yet to hear back.

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