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EMC bigwig jumps overboard and gets gobbled up by Barracuda

Backup man had a backup plan all along

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EMC has lost its backup and recovery systems executive head after BJ Jenkins jumped ship for a role heading up Barracuda Networks.

Jenkins became the boss of EMC's BRS business in January this year, replacing Frank Slootman, the ex-CEO of acquired Data Domain. Jenkins reported to Pat Gelsinger, who was then EMC's Information Infrastructure Products business president and chief operating officer (COO). But Gelsinger is now VMware CEO and his responsibilities in Information Infrastructure Products have been largely taken over by Howard Elias, the new president and COO for Information Infrastructure and Cloud Services. Elias, in turn, reports to David Goulden, who is now the overall EMC COO.

Over at Barracuda Networks, Dean Drako, the co-founder and CEO, resigned in July this year "to pursue other avenues".

Privately held Barracuda provides security, application delivery and data protection products. Its number-one selling product line is its Backup Server, and the high-end product is a 90TB Backup Appliance, the Backup Server 1090. It ships in a 4U chassis with 34 x 3TB drives, 32 processing cores and has mirrored enterprise SSD drives for fast database IO performance – which is all right up Jenkins' street.

Barracuda has some 150,000 customers, a 30 per cent annual growth rate, some 1,000 or so staff and is profitable, it says, though whether that means gross profit or net profit after deductions like tax is unclear. El Reg storage desk suspects it doesn't make any net profits at all, or none of any significance, given its apparent need for additional funding – which became clear a few months after Drako's departure.

Drako remains on the board of directors and the CEO's role has been handled by three board members in the "Office of the CEO" since his relinquishment of that position. He hinted Barracuda would try for an IPO in his leaving statement, when he said: "Barracuda now has the technology, user community, and growth ramp to be a thriving public company."

Why didn't he stay on as CEO until a the successor was found? That surely implies some dissension between Drako and the board.

In October Barracuda recapitalised via a $130m investment from existing investors Francisco Partners and Sequoia Capital, who increased their ownership in the company. Barracuda also paid out a $0.96/share dividend, which looks like a kind of compensation to other investors for these two increasing their stake.

A Bloomberg article on 3 October reports that Barracuda is generating hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue, and also confirmed the IPO intention with a quote from Barracuda's CFO, David Faugno. At the time, Faugno said the firm was hoping to announce a new CEO soon.

Faugno said the cash would be used to build out the sales and marketing, development and support organisations and could be used for acquisitions. A Sequoia Capital partner, Jim Goetz, said in the report that the investment was associated with forming a governance structure for Barracuda that was quite different from the founder-controlled structure. This could be, and probably is, related to Drako's abrupt departure.

As reported by CRN and sources inside EMC, Jenkins becomes Barracuda's new CEO and will now, presumably, take it forward to an IPO next year.

Back at EMC, the backup and recovery business is now looked after by Guy Churchward, who was the SVP for engineering in backup and recovery systems, joining EMC in May this year from LogLogic. Prior to joining LogLogic in August 2009, he was the VP and general manager of NetApp's data protection group – all of which is experience of much value to EMC. ®

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