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Omneon Taps New CEO

Storage and server supplier Omneon, Inc. has appointed Suresh Vasudevan, a longtime executive at network-attached storage specialist NetApp, as the company’s new president and CEO and as a member of the board. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Omneon has been looking for a new CEO since the departure of Joe Kennedy last May.

Vasudevan had most recently served as senior vice president of product operations at NetApp (formerly known as Network Appliance) and as a member of the company’s executive team, where he led all product management and engineering. He is credited with expanding NetApp's product portfolio beyond the network-attached storage (NAS) market into the storage area network (SAN) and disk-based backup markets.

“We are thrilled that Suresh has joined Omneon,” said Omneon Vice Chairman Larry Kaplan, who has acted as Omneon’s president and CEO in the interim. “Suresh brings a great balance of leadership and product management knowledge to the company, and we look forward to his guiding Omneon to the next level.”

Omneon, which is backed by a number of Silicon Valley venture capital firms as well as strategic investors like Intel, had filed to go public in late 2006 but had already put those plans on hold due to a declining broadcast market before Wall Street’s meltdown this past fall. The company’s Spectrum HD servers and MediaGrid storage systems are popular with large broadcasters and cable networks, but Omneon is facing increasing competition in the TV space from low-cost, off-the-shelf storage suppliers and has lately been seeking to grow its business beyond the TV industry.

The hiring of Vasudevan, who spent a decade at NetApp in a number of product management roles and previously worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co. in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Chicago, seems consistent with that diversification strategy.

“I respect Omneon tremendously for its integrity as a company, its customer focus, and its position in the market,” said Vasudevan in a statement. “I look forward to working with the entire Omneon team. Together we can set out to achieve even greater growth.”