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Pivot3 puts former Perot exec in CEO hotseat

Board chairman hauled in to steer storage startup

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Ron Nash is the new CEO at Pivot3, a 10-year-old converged storage startup that has not been setting the world on fire.

The company, founded in 2003 by Lee Caswell and Bob Galloway, aimed to build storage systems with server virtualisation embedded within, which it markets as "serverless computing".

Today it has more than 600 customers for its vSTAC converged storage and compute appliances, and focuses on the video surveillance and VDI markets. Rich Bravman was the CEO from November of 2011 to April this year, when he left.

In August this year Lee Caswell left and joined Fusion-io as the VP for its virtualisation product group and product marketing. He was an early CEO at Pivot3, serving in that role from 2005 to 2007. When a co-founder leaves a startup for a salaried post at an alternative company, that implies the heady startup days of business-building and share options with stratospheric potential are over.

Now Ron Nash has been appointed CEO: an old war horse, we might think, as he’s been Pivot3’s exec chairman since January 2005. He’s an ex-Perot Systems Corp VP, and was at EDS before that. He is also part of venture capital firm InterWest Partners and boasts a history of serving in several board positions, including multiple chairmanships.

So why has he decided to up his stress levels and become a CEO again? The company statement says: ”Mr Nash will be responsible for accelerating the adoption of Pivot3 solutions in the market and strengthening momentum following its recent $14m funding round.”

Nash said: “I see the company at an inflection point for higher growth and am very optimistic about its future.”

It has taken seven months since Bravman left to appoint a new CEO, with Nash being the exec chairman over that period. The $14m F-round funding came through in October. The round was led by InterWest Partners and Mesirow Financial Capital Partners, and included additional funding from Focus Ventures, Lightspeed Partners, Silver Creek Ventures, Northleaf Ventures and Wilson Sonsini.

Looks like Nash rallied the investors and put himself on the line to run the company so they could get the exit they need.

According to CrunchBase there was:

  • A $23m E-round in August 2012,
  • A $29m D-round in 2010,
  • A $24m C-round in 2008,
  • $12.34m funding in 2007,
  • $1.1 million in 2006,
  • A $9m B-round in 2005.

We don’t know the A-round value. Total recorded funding so far is $98.44m over 10 years. So far, this company has sucked up $100m in venture money and not delivered the goods. Now a veteran has taken up the reins and needs to get the team driving forward to success.

Good luck Ron, you’ll need it. ®

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