Feeds

Virtual Instruments nabs Symantec ex-CEO

Mark Urdahl sticks around to advise

The next step in data security

US business establishment great and good member John Thompson, the ex-CEO of Symantec, has become CEO of tiny Virtual Instruments.

Virtual Instruments (VI) is a tiny but fast-growing firm supplying products to monitor virtualised data centre infrastructures, such as NetWisdom and VirtualWisdom. It recently introduced a SANInsight TAP Patch Panel System, a pre-Tapped fibre-optic patch panel product, claimed to lower the cost and simplify deployment of network TAPs into Fibre Channel SANs and virtualised infrastructure.

The firm was started up as a private equity spin-out from Finisar in June 2008 and is headquartered in Scotts Valley, California. Its corporate blurb says: "Customers such as Barclay's Card Services, Kaiser Permanente, Lloyd's Bank, and Unilever achieve significant cost savings in virtualisation and SAN deployments by optimising availability, performance and utilisation of IT resources." Partners include IBM, HP, HDS, Dell and EMC - it all sounds blue chip through and through.

Mark Urdahl, no longer Virtual Instruments CEO, stays on as an advisor, continues as a director and, incidentally, has a large shareholding in VI.

VI revenues grew 100 per cent in 2009, the year that Thompson joined it as an investor and board member. Possibly he got bored on the board and wanted a more hands-on role, hence the CEO shuffle.

Thompson, now in his early sixties, was IBM's general manager for the Americas and was an IBM employee for a quarter of a century. He left to become Symantec's chief operating officer in 1999. When he assumed the CEO position he became the only African-American heading a major tech firm. Annual revenues grew tenfold during his tenure, rising from $600m to more than $6bn when he retired in April 2009.

VI revenues will be a fraction, a tiny fraction of that, and we guess investors will be getting excited about IPO or acquisition opportunities with golden effects on their shareholdings. Presumably Thompson will make this happen faster than Urdahl.

He was appointed by President Bush to serve on the USA's National Infrastructure Advisory Committee (NIAC), confirming his establishment status. The main event he'll be remembered for at Symantec is the $13.5bn purchase of Veritas in 2005, a purchase that still excites passionate debate about its beneficial or adverse after-effects on the Veritas products and technology. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.