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Drobo makes 'reductions' ahead of Connected Data merge

Layoffs due to 'staff overlaps in some sales channels' - Barrall

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SME storage hardware maker Drobo, which is in merger talks with Connected Data, has laid off some of its staff, in what Connected Data CEO Geoff Barrall calls an orderly "Reduction In Force" (redundancies).

Connected Data is a private cloud startup founded by Geoff Barrall in late 2011 and staffed by some of his old colleagues from Drobo, which he also founded. In six years of trading, Drobo has sold the equivalent of one exabyte (1 million terabytes) of its storage products.

The merger between Drobo and Connected Data is curious from El Reg's point of view, since Drobo is obviously a much larger business; we estimate it has shifted over 200,000 units.

If Drobo needed the peer-to-peer file sync'n'share features of Connected Data's Transporter product, then Drobo could simply buy Connected Data. But instead Drobo is merging with the smaller company; a mouse is merging with an elephant.

Connected Data's CEO, Geoff Barrall, has firmly denied rumours whispered to El Reg that Drobo had laid off up to 70 per cent of its workforce ahead of the merger, including its entire C-suite. However, he did confirm there were "RIFs" yesterday "involving staff overlaps in some sales channels".

Some executives have also left the company, although Barrall could not provide details.

While telling The Register about Connected Data's sales of 4,000 Transporter units in just two months, Barrall said: "I love Drobo. I think it's a great business … Bringing the two together is super exciting for me." ®

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