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Mark Roellig, the new GC of data storage company StorageTek, has jumped from the troubled telecom world into the postmeltdown technology environment. Roellig, the former GC of U.S. West, found himself out of a job at the company in 2000, when he closed a merger deal with Louisville, Colorado-based Qwest Communications. “This was not Noah’s Ark. We were not going to have two of everything,” he says, noting that he already knew that his post was disposable at the time of the hostile takeover. The self-described techie, who landed his new post after a two-year search, had an earlier offer from a struggling telecom company, but decided to pass and avoid an industry in turmoil. “I was looking for something permanent,” he says. Roellig now heads up the 12-lawyer legal department at StorageTek, which provides data storage and disaster recovery systems for computer networks. He expects demand to increase for these products once corporate America recovers from its slump: “It’s an industry that I believe has a huge upside if you look at the amount of information we have to store, especially since September 11.” Before moving to StorageTek, Roellig devoted most of his career to climbing the corporate ladder at the defunct telecom. The Detroit native graduated in 1979 from George Washington Law School and practiced at Reed McClure in Seattle before taking his first in-house position with Pacific Northwest, later U.S. West. Would he have done anything different, knowing his job was on the line in the merger? “No,” Roellig says in hindsight. “It was a great deal for shareholders at the time.”

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