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Former EMC Execs Depart Dell Technologies, Churchward Exits Dell To Become DataTorrent's CEO

The departures of Guy Churchward, president of the Core Technologies division at Dell EMC, and Chirantan "CJ" Desai, president of the company's Emerging Technologies division, come at a time when a massive integration of Dell' and EMC's products and people is well underway.

Two former EMC executives are leaving Dell Technologies just a few months after the company closed its acquisition of EMC.

Guy Churchward, president of the Core Technologies Division at Dell EMC, and Chirantan "CJ" Desai, president of the company's Emerging Technologies division, have either left or are in the process of leaving the company.

The departures add uncertainty to Dell Technologies at a time the company is wrestling with integrating Dell and EMC product lines and sales and channel teams.

[Related: Dell: EMC Buy Will End Legacy Perceptions Of Dell As A PC Company]

Dell Technologies reported on its fiscal third quarter financials on Thursday and its CFO, Tom Sweet, said the company expects there to be some "short-term disruption" as it integrates the Dell and EMC go-to-market activities.

"As [Dell EMC President] David Goulden stated in his internal email to employees, we have an amazingly talented bench of leaders within our product engineering groups and will promote from within. More information will be coming very soon," wrote a Dell Technologies spokesperson, in an emailed response to a CRN.

Churchward confirmed via email to CRN that he has resigned from Dell Technologies, and said he would temporarily remain with the company before joining DataTorrent, a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of data streaming technology.

Desai had yet to respond to a request for further information on his plans. Desai joined EMC in September of 2013 after spending time at Symantec and Oracle. EMC first set up its Emerging Technologies division at the time with Desai starting as president of the group.

Churchward joined EMC as in 2012 where he was initially in charge of that company's data protection business.

"I have resigned from Dell Tech but I am sticking around till the new fiscal year to make sure the team transitions well as this was been my home for a fair time and I have an extended family that are important to me," Churchward wrote to CRN.


Churchward also wrote that he is thrilled to be taking the position of president and CEO of DataTorrent.

"The team's ridiculously competent and the tech [is] already being used by a number of Fortune 10 companies in production. I firmly believe 2017 will be the pivotal year the market shifts to real-time stream-based apps and analytics so they have skated to the puck and I firmly believe it's close to arrival," he wrote.

The departures of Churchward and Desai reflect in part the cultural change going on at Dell EMC in the wake of Dell's blockbuster EMC acquisition, said one solution provider close to Dell Technologies.

Desai's departure appears to be more about where he wanted the combined Dell EMC software business to go, and where Dell CEO Michael Dell wanted to take it, the solution provider told CRN.

"Desai came from Oracle, and was very well respected at EMC," he said. "He's a smart guy, and very forward thinking. He was what EMC needed. But his departure seems to be him not being on board with where Dell is taking EMC."

Given that Churchward already has a new positioned lined up with Data Torrent, it is less likely his departure was due to the cultural changes, the solution provider said.

"It was a good chance for Guy to cash out and find a new opportunity," he said. "What is odd, though, is that Dell EMC made a big deal of his taking over as president of the company's core technologies business."

Churchward is a great, dynamic executive known for his straightforward way of working with peers and partners, but his departure so soon after the merger is complete will raise questions about Dell EMC's future, the solution provider said.

"In any big merger like this, when you say you will take a new roll in the combined company, people tend to believe your story and your commitment," he said. "But if you leave within a year, people wonder what is happening."

The departures of Churchward and Desai will have many wondering who is next, the solution provider said. "Customers like how VMware is moving to work closely with AWS in the public cloud," he said. "But many are not sure how long Michael Dell will support the Amazon model. Dell now has Virtustream. And while Dell is continuing to partner with third-party technologies, the company is also very focused on where it can own the technology on its own."

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