Business

EMC’s Joe Tucci pushes back retirement, will stay until 2015

Joe Tucci had said he’d turn over EMC leadership this year.
Joe Tucci had said he’d turn over EMC leadership this year.

It seems EMC Corp. boss Joe Tucci just can’t let go. The 65-year-old head of the giant Hopkinton data storage company has once again pushed back his retirement and will stay at the company at least through February 2015.

The extension is the second time Tucci delayed his retirement from the company that he’s led since 2001. He first said in September 2009 that he would turn over leadership at EMC this year, then in January said the company’s board of directors asked him to stay on at least through 2013.

Now, the latest extension has EMC watchers questioning whether the tech giant has a successor for Tucci who will satisfy its board of directors.

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“He’s been just so phenomenally successful that the question becomes what happens next,” said Simon Robinson, research vice president at 451 Research, a San Francisco firm. “Are they going to bring in someone who has the same influence, authority, and decisiveness that Tucci has?”

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Tucci, who declined a request for an interview, previously said EMC intends on promoting from within to replace him when he eventually steps down. In a July conference call with analysts and investors, Tucci said he would “not overextend my welcome by any means, but as long as I’m enjoying it, providing value, they want me, the board wants me — I’m very energized so I’m not putting any firm end date in the sand.”

Robinson said that many EMC analysts had considered Pat Gelsinger as CEO in waiting until he switched jobs in July from chief operating officer to chief executive of VMware Inc., a large Palo Alto, Calif., enterprise software company of which EMC is majority owner. Other candidates include Paul Maritz, who oversees EMC strategy, and David Goulden, EMC’s president and chief operating officer. EMC would not comment on potential successors for Tucci.

“He has three great people to work with in the team,” said Roger Cox, vice president of research for Gartner Inc., a technology research firm. Cox said Tucci’s decision to stay longer is probably more about his unwillingness to let go than dissatisfaction by the EMC board with potential successors.

Under the terms of his new employment agreement, Tucci is expected to step down as chief executive sometime before February 2015, according to documents the company filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Once he does, he will remain chairman of EMC and the VMware unit.

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Tucci was also given an $8 million incentive to stick around. EMC’s board of directors approved stock grant worth $8 million if Tucci meets performance targets over the next two years, according to SEC documents. In 2011, Tucci’s total compensation was valued at more than $13.2 million.

Tucci’s decision comes on the heels of another successful run: revenues of $5.3 billion for the quarter that ended on June 30, a 10 percent jump over the same period last year. EMC stock closed at $27.70, up 19 cents, or 0.69 percent.

Michael B. Farrell can be reached at michael.farrell@globe.com.