Photo: Greylock Partners
IBM and EMC are reportedly both courting cloud-computing company SoftLayer Technologies in an acquisition expected to exceed $2 billion.Through savvy venture capitalist David Strohm, EMC may have an inside edge.
Strohm, who works at Greylock Partners, sits on the boards of both EMC and VMware, the cloud software company in which EMC holds a majority stake.
If EMC successfully buys SoftLayer, the largest privately held cloud-computing and Web-hosting service provider, that will be a boost to EMC and VMware’s new cloud-computing plans, including boosting their Pivotal spinout.
One of VMware’s biggest rivals, Citrix, is also a big SoftLayer partner and customer.
One has to think that Strohm has recused himself from any negotiations between EMC and SoftLayer. But we also think he’s a big reason why SoftLayer is on EMC’s radar in the first place.
Strohm is a longtime partner at Greylock, helping grow the firm into a Valley powerhouse. He’s known for his investments in DoubleClick, Mentor Graphics, SuccessFactors, and a host of other successful companies. He also sits on several other boards including those of current portfolio companies like Tabula and OpenDNS.
SoftLayer, EMC, and IBM aren’t publicly talking about their negotiations. We called and emailed Strohm for comment on this story, but he hasn’t responded.
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