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HDS CEO Jack Domme Becomes Hitachi Ltd.'s First Non-Japanese Corporate Officer

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), whose CEO is now the first non-Japanese corporate officer at Hitachi Ltd., has made a number of key executive moves as part of its bid to become less storage hardware-focused and more of an overall provider of solutions.

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Jack Domme

Jack Domme, CEO of Hitachi Data Systems, made Japanese corporate history this week by becoming the first non-Japanese to become a corporate officer of Hitachi Ltd.

The appointment of Domme, who also retains his HDS CEO title, along with several changes in HDS' leadership ranks, reflects the increased importance the company has to Hitachi's worldwide operations.

In his new role, Domme will report directly to Hiroaki Nakanishi, president of Hitachi, where he will help that company expand its Information & Telecommunication Systems Company platform on a global basis while helping develop strategies to bridge its various group companies.

[Related: HDS Converged Infrastructure Offering Targets EMC, NetApp ]

Hitachi Data Systems, or HDS, is the Hitachi subsidiary that brings Hitachi's storage and server technology to markets outside of Japan. About 50 percent of HDS' U.S. sales are through indirect sales channels, said Mary Ann Gallo, vice president of global communications for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company.

Domme's appointment as a corporate officer at Hitachi comes at a time of transformation for Hitachi as it looks outside of Japan for growth, Gallo said.

"Hitachi is looking to benchmark themselves against global companies," she said. "And they're looking at HDS as a model for that transformation. Jack will be reporting directly to Hitachi President Nakanishi as they go more global."

HDS itself is also transforming away from a focus on storage hardware, Gallo said. About 50 percent of HDS' revenue now comes from software and services, and the company is working to bring its HDS Unified Compute Platform (UCP) via the channel to customers such as Irvine, Calif.-based forensics and discovery company Precision Discovery.

The Hitachi UCP is a converged infrastructure solution that ties the company's storage with a choice of Hitachi or Cisco servers and Cisco or Brocade networking technology, and it is available as a fully integrated solution that directly competes with the VCE Vblock and as a reference architecture that competes with EMC's VSPEX and NetApp's FlexPod offerings.

As part of the HDS transformation, the company this week said Brian Householder has been appointed the company's new chief operating officer. HDS has not had a COO for some time ever since Domme, its last COO, was appointed CEO.

As COO, Householder will oversee HDS' sales, service, support, marketing, business development, partner development, IT and logistics.

NEXT: More Executive Changes At HDS


Also getting promoted this week is Michael Cremen, HDS' new executive vice president of global sales. He previously held the position of senior vice president of global markets.

Cremen's responsibilities also include part of those previously handled by Randy DeMont, a 12-year HDS executive who is in the process of retiring as executive vice president of global sales, services and support.

However, HDS' global services and support business will remain under Hicham Abdessamad, the company's senior vice president of global services.

Also getting a promotion was Kevin Eggleston, who is now serving as HDS' senior vice president of global verticals and integration. Eggleston previously served as HDS' senior vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific. Stepping up to Eggleston's previous position is Neville Vincent, the company's former vice president and managing director of HDS Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, and the managing director of Hitachi Data Systems Korea.

Dave Cerniglia, president of Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime HDS partner, said he expects the impact of Domme's involvement with Hitachi's corporate office to have more of an impact on Hitachi overall than on its U.S. storage and converged infrastructure business.

"Hitachi has had great leaders and has been demonstrating its technology prowess," Cerniglia said. "They're continuing to grab market share."

HDS has done a great job of empowering executives at the district level to work with channel partners and been a great help to Consiliant, Cerniglia said.

"If we have a concern or a problem, there are avenues to work with them," he said. "And that makes us loyal to them."

PUBLISHED APRIL 12, 2013

This story was updated on April 12, 2013, at 4:45 p.m. PST to clarify Michael Cremen's role as HDS' new executive vice president of global sales.

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