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By | Ashlee Vance 13th March 2008 17:23

Azul star DeWitt runs to HP

Settles down with PCs

Last September, we revealed that then Azul Systems CEO Stephen DeWitt planned to bail on the start-up. Six months later DeWitt confirmed the move by popping up at HP.

HP has turned DeWitt into SVP of its PC business in the Americas region. He'll report to Todd Bradley, the EVP of HP's entire Personal Systems Group.

DeWitt once ran Cobalt - a server appliance company that coaxed Sun into blowing $2bn. Then, he served as an executive at Sun for a short time before trying the start-up thing once again with Azul, which makes a line of Java server appliances.

Once CEO and Chairman at Azul, DeWitt last Nov. turned over the CEO role to Scott Sellers.

As we understand it, DeWitt gave up on day-to-day management of Azul a long time ago; so slotting Sellers into the CEO role made a ton of sense. Sellers has been generous enough to talk with us at length about Azul's business, and the company now seems on more solid ground.

We noticed last week that DeWitt disappeared from the Azul website, but the company declined to tell us where he went. The secrecy makes more sense now.

Azul has yet to tell us who it will tap as Chairman.

HP gets a flashy, smooth-talking executive who should be a real asset to the PC unit. The company has a ton of momentum going right now, and DeWitt is just the type of fella who can keep that mojo rising by making a PC seem more exciting than a PC.

We're quite surprised to see him end up at a giant corporation after demonstrating a fierce entrepreneurial streak. After all, DeWitt is only 42.

But the demands of selling rather custom hardware to big businesses will wear any man out. We look forward to hearing about DeWitt's approach to the PC game. ®

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