Report: Gelsinger, Goulden Are Top Contenders To Succeed EMC's Tucci

In addition to Goulden, CFO and executive vice president at EMC, and Gelsinger, the company's president and COO for EMC's information infrastructure products, other executives in the running for the top position include Howard Elias, president and COO of EMC's information infrastructure and cloud services, and Paul Maritz, president and CEO of VMware, according to a Friday report by Bloomberg.

Virtualization and cloud technology developer VMware was acquired by EMC in 2003 and remains majority-owned by that company. Maritz is reportedly not interested in the top spot at EMC, according to Bloomberg.

EMC couldn't be reached for comment on the Bloomberg report.

Goulden, a nine-year EMC veteran, oversaw EMC's acquisition of VMware in 2003, and also worked with Tucci at Wang.

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Gelsinger joined EMC in September and was previously senior vice president and co-general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group. Gelsinger was widely considered a likely successor to Intel CEO Paul Otellini, who is expected to retire some time in the next five years.

While at Intel, Gelsinger was the executive sponsor for both EMC and VMware

Tucci has previously indicated that he plans to retire in 2012, when he will be 65 years old. That makes the question of a successor important for the world's largest independent storage vendor.

The questions about EMC's leadership succession come at a time when data centers are moving to adopt converged infrastructures which integrate storage, servers, networking, and even software, either from a single vendor or from a group of vendors working together. The storage industry is also increasingly being shaped by customers' adoption of cloud computing.