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Azul finds a new CEO

DeWitt finds a Chair

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In Sept., we revealed that Azul Systems chief Stephen DeWitt would relinquish his CEO post. Today, Azul has confirmed that DeWitt will turn over the CEO duties to former second-in-command (COO and Prez) Scott Sellers.

Following the reorganization, Sellers becomes President and CEO, while DeWitt moves into the Chairman, er, chair.

Azul buried the executive swap in a press release detailing new partner and customer wins. We're told that Bear Stearns and Creditex have purchased Azul's Java server appliances, while Vignette and GemStone will help the start-up "connect with customers in a variety of industries."

Not shy about patting itself on the back, Azul bragged that "Over the past quarter, Azul Systems experienced a surge in customer deployments."

This surge in customer demand follows a recent round of layoffs and a fresh funding infusion that helped Azul pay off some pressing bills.

We're a bit surprised to see DeWitt stay on at the company given that our sources say he has spent precious few hours at the Azul offices over the past few months. In addition, DeWitt is a relentless entrepreneur type always charging after the next big thing. Coasting along as a Chairman seems out of line with his character.

After its recent turmoil, Azul seems to be using the smooth executive transition and customer enthrallment braggadocio to paint a picture of stability.

The customers we talk to who have used Azul's Java-boosting boxes love the technology. Serious concerns, however, remain about how large of a market there is for rather pricey systems that run on specialized silicon in this day and age. ®

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