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Dell Seeks Injunction Against Former Exec To Protect Confidential Info

A former sales and channel manager at Dell EqualLogic who left to work for competitor LeftHand Networks is the subject of the legal motions filed in New Hampshire.

In "EqualLogic, Inc. vs. Richard C. Shea," filed on July 9, Dell filed a petition for injunction and an ex parte motion for a temporary restraining order against Richard Shea in the Hillsborough County Superior Court South in Nashua, N.H.

Dell acquired EqualLogic, based in Nashua, early this year for about $1.4 billion.

Shea was an area vice president of EqualLogic until he left that company in January.

LeftHand Networks in late June appointed Shea as vice president of North American sales, where he also oversaw the channel business of Boulder, Colo.-based LeftHand Networks.

LeftHand Networks and EqualLogic compete against each other in the fast-growing iSCSI market, and both companies have traditionally dealt exclusively through the channel.

Shea earlier this year told ChannelWeb that he left EqualLogic, not because of any fears that Dell would change EqualLogic's channel-friendly status, but because he did not want to be part of a large corporation.

David Frink, a spokesman for Dell, said that when Shea left Dell EqualLogic, he had a contractual obligation which he signed to protect Dell information.

"We filed suit asking for a TRO (temporary restraining order), which has been granted, to prevent Mr. Shea from using Dell confidential information," Frink said.

A hearing on the case was originally scheduled for July 17, but is now expected to be held in mid-August, Frink said.

"We have been in good faith negotiations with Mr. Shea to help meet his future career goals without compromising Dell confidential information," Frink said.

Shea's present status with LeftHand Networks is unclear. Two sources close to LeftHand Networks said that Shea is no longer working for the company. However, a ChannelWeb call to LeftHand Networks on Thursday asking for Shea was transfered to his personal cell phone. He declined to comment publicly.

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