Reflecting on the first quarter since 1992 that he hasn't had to face Wall St. analysts for an earnings call, Coviello said that he felt as if he had "traded nine board members for one (Tucci)." "In some ways, I'm more independent than when I was CEO and had a board of directors, where there's a lot more scrutiny of operating costs and profitability," he said.
Coviello claims that he's been given free reign to use the RSA division to develop security solutions independent of EMC's product lines, even while it leverages EMC's infrastructure, customer support and professional services groups -- not to mention the company's $6 billion war chest for future acquisitions.
And with that kind of bankroll, future acquisitions are definite possibility. Coviello estimated he spent around 30 percent of his time vetting possible purchases, and that another mega-purchase along the lines of RSA weren't out of the question, though they'd have to be "compelling."
But, once a CEO always a CEO. Asked whether he could be happy staying on as an Executive Vice President at EMC, Coviello said he "didn't know about that," but waxed philosophical.
"When I was 30, my goal was to be a CEO by the time I was 40. I don't think like that now. I know what I'm going to be doing for the next couple years."