EMC Hires Former Symantec, Oracle Exec To Head New Emerging Technology Division

CJ Desai

EMC has formed a new division bringing together its various emerging technologies and appointed a former Symantec and Oracle executive to run it.

EMC on Thursday said it has formed a new division, the Emerging Technology Products Division, under the leadership of Chirantan "CJ" Desai.

Desai, who joined EMC as president of the new division, came from a nine-year stint at Symantec where he most recently served as executive vice president of information management. Prior to Symantec, he also spent several years at Oracle.

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EMC's new Emerging Technology Products Division has at its core the company's previous Flash Business Unit, which includes its XtremIO all-flash storage arrays, ScaleIO software-defined storage technology, and XtremSF PCIe cards and XtremSW flash storage software. Also included are EMC's hybrid cloud gateways and high-performance computing storage lines.

Desai is reporting to EMC President and COO David Goulden.

At Symantec, Desai was most recently responsible for the company’s backup and recovery, storage, cluster file system, high availability, and archiving products, and before that he managed the company's endpoint security and mobility technologies.

Desai's background with Symantec and Oracle makes him an "awesome" choice for EMC, said Jamie Shepard, regional vice president at Lumenate, a Dallas-based solution provider and long-time EMC channel partner.

While the IT industry tends to focus on high-profile executives like Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz and VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, people like Desai and Amitabh Srivastava, president of EMC's Advanced Software Division, are just as important for advancing strategies and technologies, Shepard said.

"Both Desai and Srivastava are very smart people, and their organizations are very independent," he said. "That's perfect for what EMC is doing. ... Goulden has great strategic vision, and is aligned closely with marketing and [Executive Vice President and CMO] Jeremy Burton."

NEXT: Desai Brings Application, Security Focus To EMC

Desai joins EMC at a time when the entire IT industry is focusing on improving end-user experience as a way to advance the business, Lumenate's Shepard said.

"The whole IT world is turning to the services provider model, with public, private and hybrid clouds," he said. "And to do this right, IT needs control."

The need for IT control in a services-oriented world makes executives like Desai key to success, Shepard said.

"He's an end-user guy," he said. "He was a big Oracle guy, and then at Symantec focused on endpoint security. Customers need endpoint security to get to their Oracle applications. He also understands cloud security and has a lot of data protection experience."

Desai is unique in the industry, and recruiting him was an important move for EMC, Shepard said.

"Business is the consumer going forward," he said. "Who better to have than a guy with experience with applications and how to protect the endpoints?"

A Symantec spokesperson told CRN via email that Desai's position at that company was split into two and handled by Jeff Hausman, senior vice president of information availability and intelligence, and Pablo Stern, senior vice president of backup and recovery.

EMC executives were unavailable to comment further on Desai's appointment.