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Ibrix gets a new leader

Yesterday I met with Ibrix, a company I haven’t caught up with in a while. They seem to be doing well with movie production studios, and our meeting featured a screening of Wall-E, the latest picture from Ibrix customer Pixar.

Along the way, I was told that while his business cards still say VP of marketing and business development, Milan Shetti is actually the new president of Ibrix. The handover from former interim CEO Bernard Gilbert has happened over the last few days, according to Shetti. The CEO before Gilbert, Shaji John, remains chairman of the board.

“My gut is that if [Shetti] performs well over the next six months, he’ll end up in that CEO role,” Taneja Group analyst Arun Taneja said.

Generally, companies that undergo frequent reorganizations aren’t doing spectacularly. But Ibrix presented this second transition as a planned one, saying Gilbert had been focused on getting operations moving along, while Shetti has already become the public face of the company. Shetti said Gilbert planned on serving one year as CEO, and that term has been completed.

Or as StorageIO Group analyst Greg Schulz put it, “Ibrix has been shifting from development-focused to that of marketing, business development, partner/reseller/OEM crecruitment and sales deployment execution.” In the past few years, Ibrix has signed channel deals with Dell and HP. Shetti played a key role in both deals, according to the company.

Shetti told me yesterday that Ibrix has been winning deals like the ones with Pixar and Disney because its clustered file system is software-only, and customers can choose their own hardware. Ibrix software can also be embedded within HP or Dell servers at the factory before shipment, so the customer doesn’t have to load software agents on every node.

Ibrix’s software is rumored to be shipping with EMC’s Hulk, but Shetti was mum on that subject.

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