IBM storage has a new boss: The same one it had six years ago

Ex-Catalogic CEO Ed Walsh assumes Big Blue's storage hot seat – again

IBM has a new storage boss, Ed Walsh, Storage Division General Manager, replacing interim GM Greg Lotko who keeps his VP development slot in the unit.

Walsh had been CEO and president of copy data management company Catalogic since July 2014.

He joined Big Blue for the first time in 2010 when it bought Storwize, a storage array startup with compression technology.

After leaving IBM in September 2013 he became a strategy consultant at ESG, taking on the Catalogic CEO post the following year.

Before that, he was CEO at server virtualisation company Virtual Iron between 2007 and 2009. The company was bought by Oracle in May 2009.

Ten years ago Walsh was CEO of deduping backup startup Avamar (between June 2005 and November 2006). That firm was bought by EMC. He then became Avamar GM and VP at EMC, leaving to run Virtual Iron.

Before Avamar he was an SVP at storage networking company CNT which was bought by McData in June 2005. He also co-founded Articulent, which was bought by CNT.

You seeing a picture of serial acquisitions here? Perhaps Catalogic thinks it's a pity it has not been bought by IBM.

Walsh's departure gives Catalogic a CEO hole to file, and in steps Ken Barth, a board member since Catalogic's inception, via a Syncsort spin-off, in October 2013. He was founder, president and CEO at Tek-Tools from April 1996 to January 2010, after which he was chairman of data quality/cleansing company Symphonic Source.

At IBM Walsh has a disparate set of products to look after, including FlashSystem, SVC, Storwize, XIV and the DS8000 line. FlashSystem is popular, while the others could be characterised unkindly as fading stars – or, more sympathetically, as long-lived survivors facing the challenges of public cloud storage, software-defined storage, server SANs and hyper-converged systems.

With his previous IBM experience combined with the triple CEO slots, Walsh has as good a chance as anyone at getting Big Blue's storage elephant learning new steps and cutting a dash on the storage dance floor. ®

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