Disruption in the Force

As we approach all hallows eve, I get an early morning message from someone that tells me that “Peter McKay left Veeam”.  I was shocked by this news after the company had just reported its 41st consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.  I thought for sure this was a “trick”, but my source said it was not and shortly thereafter I read this tweet by Peter himself. Peter McKay, President, and Co-CEO is no longer with Veeam, effective immediately, it seems.  This was not a trick and I can only assume it was not a treat for Mr. McKay.  As you know I spent some time with Veeam, and during that time I was introduced to Peter who, in my opinion, seemed like a strong and driving leader.

He led with passion and enthusiasm, the vision the executive leadership had for the company.  The messages seemed to be well received by the customers, partners, media, analysts, and the “Veeam Team”, so this was a bit of a shock when I heard the news.

2018 Press Release

The press release Veeam just now released “announced that it has restructured its executive team, promoting Andrei Baronov to Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  In addition to Co-Founder Mr. Baronov’s promotion, Ratmir Timashev, Veeam’s other Co-Founder, becomes Executive Vice President (EVP), WW Sales and Marketing, with William Largent assuming the role of Executive Vice President (EVP), Operations.  Both Mr. Timashev and Mr. Largent will report to the CEO.  Andrei Baranov, who is co-Founder and was the co-CEO will be promoted to CEO.”

The release goes on to say that these announcements will “add extra focus and strength to help the company continue its rapid expansion into the Enterprise and Cloud segments and enable it to accelerate growth across all markets.”

2016-2017 Press Release

Peter McKay came to Veeam by way of VMware’s acquisition of Desktone, where he was president and CEO from 2010-2013.  Post-acquisition, McKay was SVP of Sales for the Americas then promoted to COO.  In 2016 he joined Veeam as COO and president reporting to then CEO, William Largent.  Then in 2017, Largent exited as CEO and became chairman of the finance and compensation committees, and Veeam appointed Peter McKay as co-CEO alongside co-founder Andrei Baranov at co-CEO.  The press release in May of 2017 said and as reported by The Register’s Chris Mellor, “These executive changes add extra focus and strength to help the company continue its rapid expansion into the Enterprise and Cloud segments and enable it to accelerate growth into the Americas and APJ markets. Also, Veeam reaffirms its goal of becoming [a] $1bn in revenue company by 2019.”

These two paragraphs sound eerily similar, but it still reinforces the company’s desire to expand into the enterprise and cloud business segments. This little snippet from both the 2017 and 2018 releases both say that “these changes will add extra focus and strength to help the company continue its rapid expansion into the Enterprise and Cloud segments…”

It will be interesting to watch what happens next, disruptions like this at the highest level can have a negative impact on prospects’ and customers’ sense of security within the executive ranks, but since the two co-founders are the ones taking the reigns again, I tend to believe this will be less of disruption and more of a realignment of sorts.

The CTE Summation

Even though Veeam is a privately held company, they do like to post their quarterly numbers, but I have not yet seen the press release for Q3, but they did post both the April 24th press release on the Q1 numbers and their July 19th press release on the Q2 numbers.  The only thing I saw was something in the executive blog from this tweet I saw from Peter on October 18th.

While the blog wasn’t as verbose as some of the previous press releases on the quarter’s results, it did share some interesting nuggets, but not what I have seen in the past.  If they didn’t have a stellar Q3, big deal, this company has burned the jet fuel in the right areas and has done something that has made everyone in this space take notice.  Their growth has been quite impressive to watch.  What I believe they will need to do going forward is to ensure their message, vision, and strategy are clearly articulated across all of the “voices” the company uses to express such things.  Beyond that, the enterprise wants to partner with a company that can provide them a strong enough lens into their future so they can plan their own internal strategies.  Given this re-alignment, this is particularly important.  And more than ever, they need to be present in the market, getting face to face with prospects and customers in various field events to show their “focus and strength to help the company continue its rapid expansion into the Enterprise and Cloud segments.”

David A. Chapa, Founder, The CTE Group

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