Rohit Ghai

OpenText's Loss, RSA's Gain: Rohit Ghai Leaves Dell EMC ECD

3 minute read
Virginia Backaitis avatar

A second top executive has resigned from Dell EMC's Enterprise Content Division (ECD), injecting more uncertainty about the fate of Documentum and its sister products as their acquisition by OpenText nears.

OpenText announced its plans to acquire Documentum and EMC's other ECD businesses, including InfoArchive and EMC Leap in September, just a week after Dell finalized the purchase of EMC.

OpenText's deal is expected to close Jan. 17, sources told CMSWire. But the purchase will include a slim C-Suite.

Rohit Ghai announced via a tweet yesterday that he was resigning as CEO of ECD to become President of RSA, a subsidiary of Dell Technologies.

Ghai follows former CTO Jeroen van Rotterdam, who left in September to join Citrix as senior vice president of technology.

Ghai, Van Rotterdam Mum on Moves

Neither Ghai nor van Rotterdam were willing to talk about their departures, at least until the acquisition officially closes. But analysts told CMSWire they had little choice but to move on.

"OpenText already has a president and a CTO," Joe Shepley, vice president at Doculabs told CMSWire. "Besides, I cannot imagine why (almost) anyone (from EMC ECD) would want to stay."

The products in the companies' portfolios are redundant and OpenText doesn't need two people in each role, he added.

Shepley described EMC ECD as a "big mess," noting that the disarray began with EMC acquiring Documentum in 2004. It grew when Dell acquired EMC and will get even worse when OpenText takes ownership.

ECD’s content management products don't have a bright future at OpenText, according to Shepley and Laurence Hart, an ECM expert and CMSWire contributor.

Learning Opportunities

A Loss to ECD's Ecosystem

Cheryl McKinnon, an analyst at Forrester, called the move a "great opportunity" for Ghai. But she acknowledged his departure leaves a hole in ECD's ecosystem.

"This will be disappointing news for the partners, employees and customers," she said.

McKinnon said Ghai transformed EMC ECD and brought innovation back into the product portfolio through offerings like EMC Leap — a product with with von Rotterdam was closely aligned.

Rivals at Heart

Dell EMC ECD and OpenText are theoretically (assuming new business development is still going on) rivals. Big Men On Content blogger Marko Sillanpaa referenced an instance that occurred at Dell EMC ECD's European user conference in Barcelona last fall after OpenText EVP of Engineering Muhi Majzoub addressed the audience.

“Ghai jokingly mentioned that Muhi would now be escorted out of the building," Sillanpaa wrote in an article in Document Strategy, noting that it might have ill-advised considering that the companies were supposed to be in a “quiet period.”

The point it drives home is that unlike many acquisitions, this one may not prove one plus one is greater than two. OpenText will have to find operating efficiencies, which often means cutting redundancies like overlapping products and people.

About CMSWire

For nearly two decades CMSWire, produced by Simpler Media Group, has been the world's leading community of customer experience professionals.


Today the CMSWire community consists of over 5 million influential customer experience, digital experience and customer service leaders, the majority of whom are based in North America and employed by medium to large organizations. Our sister community, Reworked gathers the world's leading employee experience and digital workplace professionals.

Join the Community

Get the CMSWire Mobile App

Download App Store
Download google play