Last FalconStor CEO survived just six weeks before being replaced

New CFO too as data protection firm refuses to give in

+Comment It's all change at FalconStor, which has a new CEO and CFO just six weeks after the last chief exec was appointed.

Todd Oseth became CEO in June, replacing Gary Quinn. His interim CFO was finance EVP Dan Murale.

Now Oseth is out, moving sideways to become a strategic industry advisor, and in comes Todd Brooks as CEO and Patrick McClain as his CFO.

Brookes is an operating partner at Razorhorse Capital and was COO for Aurea Software from 2012 to 2016. Before that he was CEO for Update Software, a publicly traded company in Europe. McClain also has Aurea Software experience, being its CFO with previous experience in the role at other companies.

Murale has resigned to pursue other opportunities with a nod of thanks from the board and best wishes for his future.

Comment

The background to this is that once Oseth got a good look at what needed doing, he must have found it was much more than, and different from, what he'd expected.

He went to the board, which had hired him, and gave it the bad news. They could have sold the company – plenty of bottom feeders were circling around, we have been told. But they decided to bite the bullet and turn the company around, with two things in mind. They figured its IP was worth more than people realised, and the finances were not too bad.

A high cash burn rate had been stemmed and although the second quarter results showed a loss, there was money in the bank giving them headroom for bringing in a new CEO and CFO to punch through the changes needed to get FalconStor properly stabilised and growing again.

This is the backstory we have been told. The changes can't be sugar-coated, we hear, but they can be justified as the hiring of two turnaround specialists.

The storage software market is facing a hurricane of changes as the old legacy IP array and virtual tape library world has given way to separate array software and data management trends. Array software has to cope with SSDs, NVMe, Optane, object storage, containerisation, hyperconverged systems and backend cloud storage.

Data management software has splintered into myriad separate and huge business threads in their own right, such as data protection, disaster recovery, archiving, analytics, copy data management, replication, primary and secondary data management metadata-based abstraction layers, hybrid on-premises and public cloud storage, governance, file sync and share and more.

There is also a new superset data management application layer emerging, which combines there separate threads into a developing software platform.

The Brookes-McClain partnership will have to plot a strategy for FalconStor's products and IP to have valid roles in this seething storage software stew. That's going to need, we think, some swift paring down of products and organisational processes and the development of a realistic roadmap for the future. It's going to be more FalconStorm than FalconStor for a while. ®


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