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RSA President Tom Heiser

RSA President Tom Heiser

RSA President Tom Heiser is leaving the company to take up a new cloud-focused role at the company’s parent EMC, according to an internal memo sent to RSA employees earlier this week.

The move will see Heiser return to his roots. He started with EMC straight out of college in 1984, where he helped the company suss out commercial opportunities in the cloud infrastructure space. He eventually rose to the role of senior vice president of new ventures and in this capacity he oversaw mergers & acquisitions for the company, including the $2.1bn acquisition of RSA in 2006 – which he joined in 2006. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 2010 and to president in 2011.

“Tom has been asked to take on a new assignment for EMC, helping EMC leadership look at the IaaS and SaaS markets and their implications for EMC. As we all know, the explosion of the cloud in all its forms presents opportunities and risks for every product category in EMC,” RSA executive chairman Art Coviello said in a memo to employees.

“So, as much as I know we all hate to see Tom go, I have to agree that success for the broader EMC in the cloud space is something that we all need to see become a reality, and that Tom is the right guy to help make that happen,” the memo said.

Heiser’s departure from RSA, the security division of EMC, suggests the storage giant is keen to ensure it maintains a strong focus on cloud computing, having acquired and a number of companies focused on optimising storage solutions for cloud environments (i.e. ScaleIO, ExtremIO) and folded them into existing EMC divisions, and he will likely bring a stronger security focus to the new role given Heiser’s seven years with RSA.

The shakeup will also see EMC executive Mark Quigley shift over to the RSA to take on the role of chief operating officer.