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Storage vendors play musical CEOs

Hail to the chiefs. A number of storage vendors have handed their respective reigns to new chief executives in recent days.

Move over Buckingham Palace, a slew of American data storage companies have undergone a changing of the guard with a number of mid-year leadership changes.

Is Exabyte rising from the ashes? Gadzoox Networks inks support deal with Anacomp Astrum seals a pair of SRM deals Comment on this article in the SearchStorage Discussion forums
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Gadzoox Networks Inc., San Jose, Calif., a supplier of storage area network (SAN) products, announced Monday, that its board of directors has appointed Steve Dalton as the company's new president and chief executive officer. Dalton will also join the company's board of directors replacing Michael Parides, who resigned his positions as president, chief executive officer and as a member of the board of directors to pursue other opportunities, the company said.

Steve West, currently COO of nCube, Gadzoox Networks board member, and Cisco Systems board member said under Dalton's Engineering leadership the company has developed successful OEM relationships for Gadzoox's 2Gb Open Fabric switch technology with companies like Compaq Computer Corp., and Hewlett-Packard Co., which, of course, are now one company.

Since joining Gadzoox Networks in 2000, Dalton has served as vice president of engineering. Prior to joining Gadzoox, Dalton served as vice president of Engineering, U.S. for Force Computers Inc., as well as Auspex Systems Inc.

It appears that tape backup specialist Exabyte Corp., Boulder, Colo., has overcome a troublesome run in 2001 and put the final piece of its restructuring puzzle in place.

Exabyte has appointed Tom Ward as its new president and chief executive officer. Interim President and CEO Juan Rodriguez has been appointed chairman of the board and chief technologist.

In 1987, Ward founded Data Storage Marketing, a distributor of storage products, which he grew to $150 million in revenues and sold to General Electric in 1997. Ward then founded Canicom in 1997, a call center company before selling the company to Boston-based Protocol Communications in 2000.

During his reign as interim president and CEO in January, Juan Rodriguez restructured the company's expenses to reduce $14 million of annual costs, developed a relationship with Hitachi for outsourcing manufacturing needs, and strengthened the balance sheet by raising $6.56 million in equity financing and securing a $25 million working capital.

Exabyte expects to reach profitability in the third quarter of this year. The Company will use the $7.76 million of equity financing and new credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank to fund future growth.

Freeman Reports president and storage analyst Bob Abraham said Exabyte seems to have turned a corner and left its management and financial troubles behind.

Abraham added that the company's restructuring efforts are complete and Exabyte can build its business back up based on its VXA and Mammoth tape technologies, both of which are strong formats and contenders in the 8mm tape market.

Rounding out the trifecta is Boston, Mass.-based Astrum Software Inc., a provider of storage resource management (SRM) software.

F. Daniel Haley has taken over as CEO of Astrum and Robert Infantino, Astrum's founder and former president and CEO, has assumed the role of Chief Strategy Officer and manages business development, customer and market requirements analysis, corporate partnerships and strategic planning.

Infantino said Haley has been recruited to drive corporate growth and help establish Astrum in the SRM market.

Previously, Haley served as the founding President and CEO of applications performance management company Precise Software Solutions, where he led the company through its formative stages.

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