Federation is golden, says EMC II boss Goulden

They say that breaking up is hard to do, now I know, I know that it's true

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David Goulden, CEO of EMC Info Infrastructure, said breaking up the Federation would be the wrong thing to do, while speaking at the Code/Enterprise Series conference in New York on Tuesday.

EMC’s Federation includes EMC II, Pivotal, Virtustream and VMware, which are run as semi-independent companies, with VMware having had a part-IPO and its valuation being far higher than that of parent EMC.

This disparity has attracted activist investor Elliott Management, which has been pressing the case for a VMware spin-off as a way of increasing EMC shareholder value. A standstill agreement about its activities in that direction is understood to expire at the end of September.

Reuters reports Goulden as saying: "We strongly believe breaking up is the wrong thing to do. We think having a better federation is the right way to create value.” He said EMC’s board will continue to talk to Elliott, as it does to “all of our shareholders”.

Having a “better federation” is code, we understand, for both better co-ordinated product strategies with less competitive overlap and more sales co-ordination between Federation member companies.

That implies that EMC itself will have to crack a co-ordinating whip over the heads of Federation company CEOs. No more light-touch management.

Could Goulden succeed EMC CEO and chairman Joe Tucci, who is surely soon to retire? "I love my job," Goulden said. "It is the best one I have had. Beyond that, you will have to ask the board how they manage the process."

The big apple inside the Federation is running EMC itself. It's a golden delicious. Fancy a bite of that David? You betcha. ®


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