Dell Taps New Storage Division Head -

Dell Taps New Storage Division Head

Dell gained a seasoned leader in its bid to battle rivals IBM and HP for market share in the data storage space Tuesday when it announced Darren Thomas, formerly of a failed storage start-up and Compaq, to steer its storage division.

Officially, Thomas will serve as vice president and general manager of Dell's storage line of business, confirmed a spokesperson for the Round Rock, Texas-based systems vendor.

The unit's general manager and vice-president of server and storage engineering, Russell L. Holt, ceded the general manager's title but will remain to offer guidance for the division's engineering, the spokesman said.

Before joining Dell, Thomas had run network storage start-up Zambeel before it lapsed this spring. Prior to founding Zambeel in 2001, Thomas had enjoyed as 15-year tour of duty at systems vendor Compaq Computer, which is now a part of HP.

Thomas will guide product marketing in the storage division, which has done well in recent quarters, posting $375 million in revenues, a jump of about 46 percent.

Dell owes its success in part to the snappy sales of its own PowerVault systems, but perhaps its true bread-and-butter is a deep reseller agreement with storage giant EMC. Together, the two combine to sell extremely powerful, and expensive, high-end storage systems to large enterprises.

Dell needs to have firm footing in both the low-end and high-end if it wants to compete with the likes of IBM, HP, and Hitachi Data Systems.

Thomas reports to the co-leaders of Dell's products group, Jeffrey W. Clarke and John K. Medica, both senior vice presidents.

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