EMC bids for loyalty from Data Domain staff

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EMC bids for loyalty from Data Domain staff

The battle for shareholders won, hearts and minds are next.

EMC chief executive Joe Tucci and Data Domain CEO Frank Slootman will meet Data Domain employees late this afternoon to smooth over differences aired during EMC's heated battle with NetApp to acquire the data deduplication specialist.

EMC won the war for Data Domain on Friday after repeatedly outbidding NetApp last month.

In a letter to Data Domain staff, Tucci and Slootman now wish to move the conversation beyond the aggressive rhetoric that coloured the takeover battle.

"While we recognise that the past few weeks have been an unsettling and distracting time, we hope you'll view EMC's persistence as a sign of how much EMC values Data Domain, how strategic EMC views your technology, and how committed both of us are to bringing the industry's most innovative and highest quality products to market and extending and accelerating your success," Tucci's letter reads.

"Naturally, you are hungry for information. On Monday afternoon, we will be together in Santa Clara for an extended dialogue with you about what our future together will hold. We will listen to your thoughts, take your questions, and begin the process of getting to know each other."

The Q&A session should prove interesting for Data Domain chief executive Frank Slootman, who several times during the takeover process made sledging remarks about EMC.

On May 21, Slootman addressed a meeting of NetApp staff with the company's CEO Dan Warmenhoven, saying that "two out of three" deals Data Domain wins are "not contested by NetApp."

"They're in accounts with EMC and we really go after the soft underbelly of EMC. We get our footprint there," Slootman told the audience. "I mean, that's really why EMC is as worked up about Data Domain, because we're capable of beating them in their own home. I love going to Boston because, you know, I can beat them right there in their own backyard. It really hurts, right?"

Little over a week later, Tucci brushed off the remarks during a conference call.

"Once [Data Domain] get to know us, the rhetoric will go away and substance will come to play," he said.

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