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Cisco-EMC Cloud Venture Names CEO

Michael Capellas, former CEO of First Data, MCI, and HP, has been appointed chief executive of virtual computing environment firm Acadia.
Cisco director Michael D. Capellas has been appointed to head Acadia, the joint Cisco-EMC virtual computing environment operation that is focused on bringing data center computing to the cloud. In making the announcement, Cisco and EMC noted Acadia has investments from VMware and Intel, too.

Capellas has one of the strongest resumes in the IT industry. Most recently, he was CEO of First Data Corporation and before that he was CEO of MCI before it was acquired by Verizon Communications. He was also CEO of HP, which opens intriguing possibilities because the Cisco-EMC drive into data centers is confronting HP directly.

VMware, which is controlled by EMC but has substantial investments from Cisco and Intel, provides important glue that ties together the disparate parts of data centers. At First Data, an electronic commerce and payment processing firm, Capellas worked on a joint partnership with EMC to deliver secure, encrypted payment card data, according to Acadia. His role as a Cisco director has kept him close to Cisco's push into data centers.

Capellas will report to Joe Tucci, EMC chairman and CEO, and to John Chambers, Cisco chairman and CEO. "With more than three decades of experience, Michael has made a career out of leading and transforming large corporations," said Tucci in a statement.

Cisco's Chambers said, "As we work together with VMware and other key partners to help our customers realize the potential of the private cloud, we couldn't be more confident in the value of the VCE coalition with a leader of Michael's distinction at the helm."

Acadia, which debuted about six months ago, is now more firmly anchored with a CEO of Capellas' background.

Cisco and EMC said this week that the VCE coalition has signed up 45 partners and six system integrators that are already selling its Vblock integrated and tested packages for fully virtualized data centers. Another 200 partners are in the certification phase, the companies added.