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Fusion-io Co-Founders Quit; Ex-HP M&A Guy Now CEO

There has been some expectation that the flash storage house might get acquired by Dell or HP

Fusion-io's two co-founders, CEO David Flynn and chief marketing officer Rick White, up and quit Wednesday sending the company's stock into a nosedive, down better than 26% to $13.29 at noon, a record low.

They are off to turn early-stage investors.

Fusion board member, Shane Robinson, 59, the former chief strategy and technology officer of Hewlett-Packard, blamed, among others, for its disastrous acquisition of UK search company Autonomy, has been named CEO, president and chairman, effective immediately.

He's been out of a job since November of 2011 when HP bounced him over Autonomy. He was responsible for HP's dubious M&A strategy, which also included Palm and EDS.

Fusion's board said in a statement that "Shane's understanding of our business, significant international experience, and deep industry and partner relationships make him ideally suited to lead Fusion-io as we seek to accelerate the company's strategic and financial goals to enhance shareholder value."

There has been some expectation that the flash storage house, which went public two years ago and counts Apple and Facebook as key customers, might get acquired by Dell or HP.

Robison told Bloomberg that a sale "is not my focus" and that there was no disagreement over strategy with the founders.

Flynn and White are supposed to stay on Fusion's board and serve in advisory roles to the company for the next 12 months.

Fusion also said that the "announcements are not related to any issues regarding the integrity of the company's financial statements or accounting policies and practices." And it reaffirmed the financial outlook it provided on April 24 for its fiscal fourth quarter "before giving effect to any costs associated with the departures of. Messrs Flynn and White."

It's expecting a non-GAAP operating loss of approximately $5 million on revenue of about $110 million with a gross margin of 56%-58%. Revenues for the year should be in the neighborhood of $435 million.

It recently bought NexGen Storage for $119 million in cash and stock to expand into lower priced storage.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is Fusion's chief scientist.

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Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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