EMC CEO Tucci Says Still No Time Frame For Retirement, VMware Won't Be Spun Off

EMC Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci, at a meeting with investors in New York City Tuesday, didn't offer any indication of when he plans to retire or who EMC might pick to succeed him.

"February was a guidepost. …The board has a process. I am not going to rush the board," Tucci told The Wall Street Journal at the event. Tucci's latest contract expired in February and, as he said in January, he is now "serving at the will of the board."

Tucci also said EMC has no plans to spin off VMware, responding for the first time to a report last month that it had decided to keep the vendor as part of what it calls its "Federation" of companies, which also includes RSA, Pivotal, VCE and EMC II.

[Related: EMC Will Keep VMware, For Now At Least]

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Tucci also batted away a question about whether HP and EMC have held merger talks, telling The Wall Street Journal, "I just can’t comment."

EMC partners told CRN they were hoping the event would shed light on which executives EMC has in mind to succeed Tucci, 67, when he does step down. The fact that EMC hasn't done so leads some to believe that Tucci isn't leaving anytime soon.

"EMC won't do anything to make their stock decline," one EMC partner told CRN, speaking on condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. "If they can't figure out his successor I can see him staying on until they do. He won't leave them high and dry."

Phillip Walker, CEO of Network Solutions Provider, a Los Angeles-based RSA partner, described EMC as "a great company with the portfolio to succeed in the cloud." He said he's hoping EMC's next CEO will be able to continue navigating the challenges of the cloud market.

Shares of EMC, Hopkinton, Mass., dropped after the event, falling more than 3 percent Tuesday and about 4 percent Wednesday. Tucci, along with VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz, spent most of the event talking about the business advantages of the EMC Federation.

Elliott Management, the activist investor that owns around 2.2 percent of EMC's shares, doesn't share Tucci's view and said in a letter to EMC's board last October that it thinks breaking up the Federation would unlock significant value for shareholders.