EMC Seeks To Block Former Exec From HP Job

At EMC, David Donatelli ran a unit doing $6.3 billion in system sales, but was recently recruited to work at HP.
When he started working at EMC in Massachusetts as employee No. 129 in 1987, David Donatelli had no idea that he would advance so far as to become the president of the storage vendor's multibillion-dollar core business.

Now, he's gone farther still -- to California where he was scheduled Tuesday to begin working for EMC rival Hewlett-Packard as executive VP of enterprise servers, storage, and networking. But first, Donatelli will have to deal with some legal issues as EMC has succeeded in obtaining a court order from a Massachusetts judge potentially blocking his HP employment.

At the same time, Donatelli has gone to a California court seeking to set aside his old EMC contract, according to media reports.

As the cradle of many IT and computer technologies, Massachusetts is used to seeing top executives head west to sunny California. The lure enticed Donatelli, even though many thought he would one day be in line for the CEO spot at EMC. Since September 2007, Donatelli had been president of EMC's storage division. He reported directly to EMC chief executive Joe Tucci.

At EMC, Donatelli ran a unit doing $6.3 billion in system sales. At HP, his enterprise storage and server business unit reported revenue of $19.4 billion recently. He will report to Ann Livermore, VP of HP's Technology Solutions Group.

Donatelli's EMC employment contract has been endorsed by a Massachusetts Superior Court judge, who said Donatelli is "restrained and enjoined from commencing employment at Hewlett-Packard." However, California attorneys specializing in employment contracts have expressed confidence that Donatelli will be able to take his position at HP in accordance with California laws.

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