Imation CTO Subodh Kulkarni Leaving Company

Subodh Kulkarni, who guided Imation's efforts to shift its focus back to data storage, will leave the company by the end of June to pursue other interests.

Imation Corporation's chief technology officer is leaving the company, effective June 29, according to a Tuesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Subodh Kulkarni, who also serves as senior vice president for Imation's original equipment manufacturer and emerging business divisions, has opted to resign from his posts to pursue other interests, the company said.

In his role, Kulkarni oversees Imation's research, development, engineering, and manufacturing efforts. The company said it is currently searching for a new chief technology officer to replace Kulkarni.

Kulkarni began his technical career in 1989 as a research engineer at IBM and later joined Maplewood-based 3M Company as a senior research engineer. When Imation spun off from 3M in 1996, he moved to the new company to serve in a number of technology leadership positions, including vice president of manufacturing and research and development. He was appointed chief technology officer in 2009.

In recent years, Imation-which was founded as a maker of data storage media-had billed itself as a “brand and product management” company and sold consumer electronics under various brands. But in January 2011, Imation announced plans to shift its focus back to data storage, protection, and connectivity.

It is among Minnesota's 30-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $1.3 billion in 2011. But the company has struggled in recent years and reported a net loss of $46.7 million last year.

Imation CEO Mark Lucas said in a statement that Kulkarni has played a key role in helping address growth opportunities in data storage and guiding the company's efforts to shift its focus back to storage products.

“We are confident that [Kulkarni] leaves us well positioned to continue the new technology development and product commercialization that will enable us to succeed,” Lucas said.

Imation made five data storage-related acquisitions last year: It bought Colorado-based Encryptx Corporation in March, Canada-based MXI Security in June, Colorado-based ProStor Systems in August, the data storage hardware business of California-based IronKey in October, and the data backup and recovery technology of Massachusetts-based Nine Technology in December.

To read more about the company's efforts to go back to its roots and increase profitability, read Twin Cities Business' January feature story here.