Mark Sorenson Leaves HP, Follows Mark Lewis To EMC

Sorenson left HP last week to join his old boss, Mark Lewis, who left HP for Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC about one year ago and who this month was promoted to executive vice president of Open Software Operations.

Sorenson was replaced by Frank Harbist, who until last week served as vice president and general manager of HP's Nearline Storage Division.

The EMC spokesperson confirmed Sorenson's move to EMC but would not comment on his new duties except to say that his role would be aligned with his experience.

With last week's acquisition of Legato, as well as the acquisition of Patrol Storage Resource Manager from BMC Software, EMC is continuing to move toward its goal of having an open software operation that is run separately from its hardware business.

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EMC CEO Joe Tucci said last week that his goal is to drive EMC's software sales to 30 percent of sales by the end of 2004 from the current 23 percent of sales.

Rich Baldwin, president and CEO of Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based HP storage solution provider, said Sorenson's move to EMC should not mean changes to the channel, but instead probably reflects changes going on with HP's storage business.

"I think there was a relationship between Mark Sorenson and Mark Lewis, and Mark Lewis has been trying to get him for a long time," Baldwin said. "Also, there is consolidation going on with HP's storage and server businesses. Things change, budgets change, priorities change. HP is looking more like IBM: a solutions company."

Baldwin called Harbist a good guy and a good leader. "He's a real good replacement for Mark," he said.

Recent changes in HP's storage business have been a mixed blessing for the channel, said Baldwin.

"[Our HP sales rep] tells us they are reorganizing, and refocusing their sales efforts," he said. "They are moving from focusing on tier-one and tier-two customers to tier one only. They are focusing on their biggest and most profitable accounts. However, the combined server and storage team has fewer people in marketing. We rely on our own marketing. But the little [solution providers] are the ones that will hurt from that move."