I got quoted in Byte & Switch today about Hitachi Global Storage Technology and the new CIO. HGST has been a money pit for Hitachi since they bought the IBM disk operation.

They question is: are they ready to do something about it? The answer is yes.

An informant assures me that HGST has created Raj Das – late of SGI – the new SVP of Marketing.

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Raj and I worked together at Sun, where he was one of the few results-oriented, damn-the-torpedos marketing guys. He’s high energy and creative.

Turning around Hitachi marketing is going to take everything he’s got. Disk companies are not only engineering dominated – the engineers are even more anti-marketing than most. Add in the culture clash of two proud companies and, well, it isn’t good.

The engineers need to understand one thing. Until the Hitachi GST brand means something positive to consumers – at Fry’s and at datacenters around the world – the company won’t be able to justify an extra nickel of margin. Without that, profitability will remain a mirage.

One, but the lightbulb has to really want to change
I know Raj and I know what he can do. Will the guys across the pond let him do it?

The StorageMojo take
Disk vendors mostly compete on price. HGST has an opportunity to change this by re-thinking the disk value proposition – and the communication of it. The industry is at several inflection points.

Here’s hoping HGST can seize at least one of them. More competition will be good for all of us.

Comments welcome, of course. You can see Raj on the SGI video from a month ago below.