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Lawsuit schmawsuit: Pure lures EMC UK boss James Petter

Pure's latest EMC recruit heading into senior Euro role

EMC veteran and UK boss James Petter is defecting to flash nemesis Pure Storage to take on a senior European role.

Petter has been at EMC for a little over eleven years, and prior to that was a district manager at Cisco, covering the defence, SI and outsourcers sector.

In a statement, Pure confirmed Petter will join as EMEA veep, saying he would “lead Pure Storage EMEA through its next phase of explosive business growth”.

The senior exec addition comes as the company claimed to have grown bookings in the region by 300 per cent in the year to date, increasing the installed customer base by two and a half times over.

Pure also claimed the number of staffers is also up 300 per cent, adding that it expanded into eight more countries, taking its total to 12. The firm says it has scored more than 150 channel partners in its partner programme, including Computacenter, Kelway, SCC, Softcat and Proact.

A PR mouthpiece at EMC told us this morning it was sending us a statement about Petter, but before he could do so a more senior hand intervened and killed the missive.

“We do not comment on employee matters,” said the senior UK spokesman. “That is the guidance I have been given,” he added.

The reason for the reluctance to talk is obvious – the firms are locked in a bitter rivalry in the flash market, and EMC is suing Pure for, er, allegedly improperly recruiting staff and tampering with business relationships. Losing this scalp – albeit a local country head – to Pure has got to smart more than a little.

There is no suggestion that Petter's new role with Pure is linked to the legal action.

One insider told us Pure is building a European infrastructure, but Petter’s appointment raises questions about the current EMEA veep Steven Rose, who only took on the role in February last year.

Prior to Pure, Rose held exec roles at Veritas, CommVault Systems, Informatica and Violin Memory. It is not clear at this stage what he will do next.

The firms are fighting it out in the solid state space, with EMC topping the global revenue market for all-flash and hybrid flash arrays in the first half of last year. EMC turned over $112.3m but Pure was snapping at its heels with sales of $90.9m, some way ahead of Big Blue's $82.9m.

According to our estimates, Pure’s raw flash is the most expensive at $12.03/GB, with EMC coming in at $8.38/GB.

Channel sources tell us Pure is enterprise storage built from the ground up to take advantage of flash, speeding random I/O applications like server and desktop virtualisation, database and cloud computing.

Petter – who started his career as an infantry officer in the British Army's Royal Green Jackets – refused to comment, and Rose did not respond to requests for comment. ®

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