Paul Liggett, now-ex sales director of Pillar Data in the UK, has joined Exanet to become Sales Director for UK and Scandinavia.

I'm told he was at Pillar Data for a comparatively short while, six months in fact, and he ran the City and Finance Sales Team, which at that time was the most successful team at Pillar in EMEA. Before that he was Sales Director EMEA at 3PAR.

It seems he specialises in leading edge storage companies entering the UK and Europe. The sixth month period at Pillar suggests that there might have been issues. To recap, in July this year Pat Clarke, VP and GM EMEA, left Pillar for a position as VP sales and marketing EMEA at Tandberg. Clarke didn't want to travel so much from his base in Ireland apparently. Chris Jones was then internally promoted at Pillar UK to become N Europe Regional Director, and, shortly after, VP of Sales EMEA.

At the time of his transition to Tandberg Clarke was quoted as saying: "Tandberg Data is a great organisation, with an open culture that embraces change and dynamically approaches business. It's aiming to redefine the way that small and medium enterprises look after their mission critical data with its innovative, reliable and robust solutions."

Now Liggett has decided to follow Clarke in quitting Pillar. He's to concentrate on building Exanet's business in Northern Europe. It's obviously quite an opportunity, although one in a market that's getting quite crowded. Comparable companies in the super-NAS area include Acopia, BlueArc, Isilon, NetApp and several others.

Why did Liggett settle on Exanet? "Exanet has a very scalable and high performance solution that can take on, and beat, the rest of the NAS industry. The main differentiator between Exanet and everyone else is that we do not lock our clients into any particular hardware solution, so they can take advantage of industry-standard components and falling hardware prices."

Obviously he thinks the product is great and he can build Exanet's business in the UK and Nordic region: "The product is highly reliable, with version 3 soon to be released. With partners such as IBM and Sun, we know that we are well placed to grow our market share considerably in the coming year. We have a great installed base of clients which is growing at a phenomenal rate, many of whom are references and repeat customers, a true stamp of credibility and loyalty."

Liggett leaves to join a new company. Clarke left to join an older one. One wonders if their exit statements reflect anything else than PR-crafted warm words of welcome.