Joseph M. Tucci became president of EMC Corporation in January 2000 and a year later was also named chief executive officer. EMC was a leading provider of products, services, and solutions for information storage and management, most importantly including RAID (redundant array of independent disks) storage systems as well as a comprehensive number of NAS (network attached storage) file servers and a full line of software designed to manage, share, and protect data. EMC sold its products both directly and through distributors and manufacturers such as its largest partner, the personal-computer company Dell, which sold cobranded EMC systems.
When Tucci joined EMC, after a decade of strong financial gains the company was no longer the uncontested market leader in information storage. Three factors—the economic downturn that began in 2000, the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and increased competition from IBM, Hitachi Data Systems, and others—proceeded to reverse the once-prosperous direction of EMC. Fortunately, Tucci was experienced at turning companies hit by financial hardships around; during his period of leadership at EMC, he proved that he could indeed weather any economic storm.
Tucci was also a director of Paychex, a provider of payroll, benefits, and human-resources solutions. He was chairman of EMC's Stock Repurchase and Bond Redemption Oversight Committee and a member of the Mergers and Acquisitions Committee. He was one of 150 CEO members of The Business Roundtable and chaired its Task Force on Education and the Workforce. He was one of eight chief executives who directed the Computer Systems Policy Project, the leading technology-advocacy organization within the industry. Tucci was also a member of the Board of Advisors of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing.