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The Ax Begins To Fall At EMC: Marketing Unit Hit Hard, Sources Say

EMC job cuts include several high-level marketing executives -- part of the company's $850 million-a-year cost-cutting effort, according to sources with knowledge of the reductions.

The EMC job cuts have begun, including a significant number of marketing positions, as part of the company's $850 million-a-year cost-cutting effort, according to sources with knowledge of the reductions.

Sources said there were also cutbacks in manufacturing and operations in addition to the marketing cuts.

EMC declined to comment for this story.

[Related: Partners: EMC Job Cuts May Add To 'Massive Confusion' Around Dell Acquisition]

The layoffs include Josh Kahn, senior vice president of global solutions, sources said.

Also, in a move unrelated to the layoffs, Fred Kohout, vice president of global partner marketing, who was instrumental in re-architecting the company's partner program, has left the company, sources said.

"It's tough stuff," said one EMC partner executive -- who did not want to be named -- who was aware of a number of positions being eliminated.

The Hopkinton, Mass.-based data storage giant, which is in the process of being acquired by Dell in a $67 billion deal, said in a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that layoffs would be made primarily in the first quarter and completed by the end of the year.

One top executive for an EMC solution provider, who did not want to be identified, said the cuts could prompt partners to scale back on their EMC relationship.

"You knew they were taking a billion [dollars] in cuts," the executive said. "So you do what you can with existing customers, but you're investing a lot heavier in other vendors right now."

EMC, which employs roughly 70,000 people, this week also changed the name of its VCE converged infrastructure unit to the EMC Converged Platforms Division and installed longtime engineering exec Chad Sakac as its president. The unit will cut about 12 percent of its workforce, about 250 positions, including upper-level executives, the Register is reporting.

With EMC being acquired by Dell, layoffs are inevitable, said Glenn O'Donnell, a Forrester Research analyst who follows EMC.

"You have to believe some of it is in preparation for the Dell merger," O'Donnell said. "There are going to be redundant positions eliminated. Some will be from Dell, some will be from EMC. It'll be on a case-by-case basis for the upper level executives, and then entire groups of people."

Geoff Woollacott, principal analyst at Technology Business Research Inc., said EMC job losses will likely follow a long-established corporate mergers and acquisitions pattern.

"You'll see a brain drain," Woollacott said. "Your top folks may not want to see which organization is going to win or lose, and they'll look around on their own terms and jump. Then, it's suggested that folks go, or they're asked to go and they come out, so you're seeing the voluntary exits of top performers. It's one of the downsides of big acquisitions that take a long time to finalize. The next couple of years in this industry aren't going to be pretty. It's going to get bloody."


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