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CRN Exclusive: Western Digital President, COO Cordano On Importance Of Investing In Hard-Drive, Flash Technology

'We believe in R&D as a driver of technology and products across the portfolio breadth. And we will continue to invest in HDD, flash, and other things in a very purposeful way,' Michael Cordano tells CRN.

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Pretty much all of the technology and manufacturing related to WD’s hard disk and flash storage is done in-house. Is there a point at which the company would rely more on third-party components and manufacturing?

That’s a good question, and I’ll answer it this way: I think, where we think we can get commercial or technological differentiation, we will continue to invest in those technologies internally. As the market evolves, we are continuously re-evaluating that. If there were some thing that we deemed as a non-differentiated item, we would obviously consider a different strategy. But from our standpoint, you hear us, from the marketing lingo, [talk about] vertical integration. And to the extent all the way from the component, in this case heads and media, up through the device and into the system, same thing on flash, we see lots of interesting areas to innovate and to differentiate, and we want to take advantage of that.

As certain pieces of the ecosystem evolve, and we see them as not capable of that innovation and differentiation, we might look at them differently.

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