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Darren Thomas, Dell's storage chief, has left the company after overseeing Dell's transition from a direct vendor selling storage from EMC to a channel-focused vendor of its own branded offerings.
Dell provided no explanation for the departure of Thomas, who joined Dell in 2003 after spending 15 years with Compaq.
In the interim, Dell storage is being managed by two other executives: Alan Atkinson, vice president and general manager of Compellent, and Pete Korce, vice president and general manager, EqualLogic and NAS storage solutions. A Dell spokesperson told CRN that Atkinson and Korce will together lead Dell storage until the company finds a replacement for Thomas, who left to pursue other opportunities.
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The departure of Thomas, which was first reported by the Register, comes at a time when Dell is undergoing a massive transformation that has industry pundits concerned about the future of the company but which has solution providers praising Dell for its strategy.
Dell is currently focused on building its business solutions with help from indirect channel partners, a far cry from its origins as a company focused mainly on the direct sales PCs.
On the storage side, Thomas has presided over a huge transformation in Dell.
Dell in early 2008 acquired storage vendor EqualLogic, a leader in iSCSI technology, and as a result became one of the top storage vendors in the industry.
Dell followed that acquisition with the purchase early last year of Compellent, which gave it an enterprise-class storage line.
In the meantime, Dell late last year kicked EMC storage out of its product lineup after a long and successful reseller relationship with that vendor.
That shift in strategic focus has led to softer revenue. Dell last month reported a significant drop in revenue and earnings for its fiscal third quarter. However, that drop was due mainly to plummeting sales of its low-margin desktop and notebook PCs.
During the quarter, Dell's server and networking business grew 11 percent year-over-year even as the company experienced a 19 percent drop in desktop and mobile client device revenue and a 37 percent drop in third-party software sales related to the mobile devices.