Dan Warmenhoven, the chairman of the board at NetApp (Nasdaq: NTAP), is being replaced “effectively immediately” by the company’s CEO, the storage device technology firm said Monday.

Warmenhoven, a former CEO of the firm, will leave the board in September, the company said in a statement before the markets opened. Warmenhoven had worked with NetApp for two decades.

Tom Georgens, the CEO, had replaced Warmenhoven as chief executive officer in August of 2009.

Wall Street reacted somewhat negatively to the news. Shares fell 3 percent, or $1.07, at one point from Friday’s close on $37.53. Some 2.25 million shares were traded by early afternoon – under half the average daily volume.

Shares ended the day down 3.28 percent at $36.20, off $1.23. Some 4.8 million shares traded hands.

More WRALTechWire coverage: What Next for NetAPP?

  • Analysts’ reaction to the changes at NetApp is mixed.

Also Monday, NetApp promoted Robert Salmon to president from executive vice president for field operations. He has held that post since December 2005.

Salmon received a $25,000 increase in salary to $650,000 and also is eligible for bonus compensation of up to 120 percent of his base pay. His bonus had been capped earlier at 110 percent.

NetApp has gone through two rounds of layoffs over the past year as the company battles rivals in an increasingly competitive “cloud” and data storage market.

The company, which operates its headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., operates a large campus in RTP, a legacy of Warmenhoven’s tenure as the firm’s top executive.

In another board move, lead independent director Nicholas Moore will retire in September as well. 

He was replaced “effective immediately” by Michael Nevens, the company said.

“I want to express my deep appreciation for Dan’s many contributions as chairman of the board at NetApp,” said Georgens in a statement “Dan’s extensive experience has been instrumental to our ongoing efforts to deliver enhanced value to our shareholders. His leadership, commitment and guidance will be missed and I wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Added Warmenhoven: ”I have greatly appreciated and enjoyed my time leading this board for NetApp. During the past twenty years with NetApp, I am always amazed at the drive and dedication of this organization to continue to build a model company and deliver innovative outcomes to partners, customers and shareholders. I look forward to following NetApp’s success well into the future.”