Sun, StorageTek about to start life as merged firm

Sun, StorageTek about to start life as merged firm

Sun expects to close its acquisition of StorageTek on Aug. 31 pending the approval of StorageTek shareholders.

Sun Microsystems is likely to close its acquisition of Storage Technology (StorageTek) on August 31, pending a special meeting of StorageTek shareholders Tuesday when they are expected to approve the deal, according to a Sun executive.

"The shareholder proxy vote is likely to be the last hurdle," Mark Canepa, executive vice president of Sun's network storage products group, said in an interview Wednesday. "If the vote goes as expected, the deal should close on August 31 and day one for Sun/StorageTek will be September 1."

Sun announced its intention to acquire StorageTek for US$4.1 billion in early June. While analysts have given the move a mixed reception, Sun hopes StorageTek will send a message to both its customers and competitors that the company is serious about the storage market, according to Canepa.

Canepa confirmed that he will head up the merged operations at Sun, but he didn't reveal the identities of the rest of the executive team.

According to an industry source who asked not to be identified, the Sun-StorageTek business will be known as Sun's data management group and will handle all Sun's storage hardware, software and services. The division will have three business units -- tape, disk and information lifecycle management (ILM) solutions.

StorageTek Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Nigel Dessau will head up the tape unit, while Kathleen Holmgren, Sun's senior vice president of networked storage solutions, will run the disk unit, according to the source. Brenda Zawatski, StorageTek vice president and general manager of information lifecycle management solutions, will be in charge of the merged ILM solutions operation, the source said.

Jon Benson, currently StorageTek's vice president and general manager of its automated tape solutions will join Sun as vice president of StorageTek product development, according to the source. Fidelma Russo, Sun's vice president of engineering, will become vice president of network storage product development, the source said.

Rounding out the storage executive team is Randy Kerns whom Sun recently named as its vice president of strategy and planning. Kerns was a former storage analyst with the Evaluator Group.

Canepa said that consulting firm Deloitte is handling all the human resources issues relating to the Sun acquisition of StorageTek. He said that between Sun and StorageTek "hundreds of people" have been involved in the work being done to integrate the two companies, compromising of 15 different teams addressing various components of the merger.

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