Category Archives: Appointment

Colt gears up for cloud with new CTO appointment

Network Function VirtualisationColt has announced that its newly appointed Chief Technology Officer Rajiv Datta is to be given the brief to drive the service provider’s future cloud strategy.

Datta’s duties are described as ‘the creation of next generation of products and services, including SDN-based networks and digital customer experience’.

Datta has joined Colt’s Executive Leadership team to be led by Carl Grivner who took over as CEO on 1 January. Datta was recruited from AboveNet Communications, where he was chief operating officer for the fibre infrastructure provider as its annual revenues grew from $190m to $500m. New Colt CEO Grivner said Datta was recruited for his track record of transforming business.

Competition from cloud-based services such as Skype has affected the revenues for all European telcos, according to Reuters, which reported how Colt exited the wholesale market for voice calls in 2014.

However, according to a recent report from the European Telecoms Network Operators’ Association (ETNO), the year 2016 should see a return to growth in this sector, thanks in part to a thinning out of players, such as Colt, which also took the decision to pull out of the IT services market.

With an estate of 34 carrier-neutral data centres in Europe and seven managed facilities in Asia Pacific, Colt is to concentrate on cloud and data centre services. However, the data centre market is entering its own phase of consolidation and in November BCN reported market leader Equinix had bought its rival TelecityGroup. In this climate the change management skills of Datta will be invaluable, according to Colt CEO Grivner.

“Rajiv’s track record of transforming business performance will be invaluable in creating the levels of focus, speed and innovation that we need,” he said.

Google appoints ex-VMware boss to lead enterprise web services business

Google officeGoogle has appointed former VMware CEO and current Google board member Diane Greene to head a new business-oriented cloud service.

Though Google is associated with consumer products and overshadowed by AWS in enterprise cloud computing, the lead is not unassailable, claimed Google CEO Sundar Pichai, in the company’s official blog, as the appointment was announced.

“More than 60% of the Fortune 500 are actively using a paid Google for Work product and only a tiny fraction of the world’s data is currently in the cloud,” he said. “Most businesses and applications aren’t cloud-based yet. This is an important and fast-growing area for Google and we’re investing for the future.”

Since all of Google’s own businesses run on its cloud infrastructure, the company has significantly larger data centre capacity than any other public cloud provider, Pichai argued. “That’s what makes it possible for customers to receive the best price and performance for compute and storage services. All of this demonstrates great momentum, but it’s really just the beginning,” he said.

Pichai stated the new business will bring together product, engineering, marketing and sales, and Green’s brief will be to integrate them into one cohesive offering. “Dianne has a huge amount of operational experience that will continue to help the company,” he said.

In addition, Google is to acquire bebop, a company founded by Greene, to simplify the building and maintain enterprise applications. “This will help many more businesses find great applications and reap the benefits of cloud computing,” said Pichai.

Bebop’s resources will be dedicated to building and integrating the entire range of Google’s cloud products from devices like Android and Chromebooks, through infrastructure and services in the Google Cloud Platform, to developer frameworks for mobile and enterprise users and finally end-user applications like Gmail and Docs.

The market for these cloud development tools will be worth $2.3 billion in 2019, up from $803 million this year, according to IDC. The knock on effect of those developments is that more apps will run on the cloud of the service provider that supported development and that hosting business will triple to $22.6 billion by 2019, IDC says.

Greene and the bebop staff will join Google once the acquisition has completed. The new name for Greene’s division has yet to be named but will include divisions such as Google for Work, Cloud Platform, and Google Apps, according to Android Central.

Dropbox sets the enterprise in its sights with new hires

Dropbox is boosting its investment in personnel to add enterprise users

Dropbox is boosting its investment in personnel to add enterprise users

Cloud storage provider Dropbox is doubling down on the enterprise, hiring experts in traditional small and medium size IT channel and direct sales and product design to help gain traction with businesses.

Just over a week ago the company hired Thomas Hansen, who most recently served as worldwide vice president of small and medium business at Microsoft where he led SME sales globally, to the newly created role of global vice president of sales & channel.

“We’re scaling at an extraordinary pace, and Thomas’ insights will help us accelerate Dropbox adoption even further,” said Dennis Woodside, Dropbox’s chief operating officer. “We have a huge opportunity ahead of us, and we’re building an incredible team to go after it.”

And just this week the company also hired Todd Jackson, Dropbox’s first vice president of product. Jackson hails from Twitter, where he most recently served as director of product management and led the company’s content and discovery teams. He has also held fairly senior product design positions at both Facebook and Google.

Jackson is replacing Ilya Fushman, Dropbox’s former head of product who left for Index Ventures two months ago.

With the new hires Dropbox is looking to bolster its position in the enterprise, the quickest way to gaining seats, against rivals like Box, which heavily targets niche verticals and large traditional organisations as well as startups and smaller firms. Dropbox claims to have over 100,000 business using its platform while Box maintain it has closer to 44,000 organisations as customers.

Canonical appoints ex-Microsoft UK dev lead as EVP of cloud

Krishnan will lead Canonical's cloud efforts

Krishnan will lead Canonical’s cloud efforts

Canonical has appointed former Microsoft exec Anand Krishnan to the role of executive vice president for cloud, where he will lead most of the company’s cloud-related efforts globally including business-development, marketing, engineering and customer delivery activities.

Krishnan most recently served as UK General Manager for Microsoft’s Developer Platform division where he was responsible in part for scaling the Azure business, which by most measures seems to be growing at record pace. Before joining Microsoft in 2004 he spent about five years at Trilogy, a Texas-based software firm specialising in lead generation solutions for the automotive, insurance and telecoms sectors.

“Great businesses make an extraordinary difference to the customers they serve. Canonical has the products and the momentum to do exactly that,” Krishnan said.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be joining the team at this time and helping shape the next phase of our journey”

Canonical has in recent months moved to bolster its cloud strategy with BootSack, its managed private cloud offering, and its own distribution of OpenStack. Its Linux distro Ubuntu is the most popular OS in use on AWS EC2 (though other Linux incumbents have questioned those claims), and it also recently launched Ubuntu Core, a slimmed-down, re-architected version of the Ubuntu operating system that borrows from heavily from the Linux container (isolated frameworks) and mobile (transactional updates) worlds.

Rackspace taps former VeriSign, Red Hat exec to lead strategy, product engineering

Scott CrenshawRackspace has appointed Scott Crenshaw to the role of senior vice president of strategy and product. Crenshaw, who formerly hails from VeriSign, will oversee the company’s corporate strategy, business development and product and engineering portfolio.

Crenshaw most recently served as senior vice president of products at VeriSign, where he led the development of the company’s new products and services. Before that he served as vice president of strategy and chief marketing officer at Acronis, a data backup and recovery solutions provider, and spent a number of years at Red Hat, where he served as vice president and general manager of the cloud business unit.

He also holds a number of patents related to subscription service provision and monitoring.

“We are excited to have someone of Scott’s caliber and experience joining our team,” said Rackspace president and chief executive officer Taylor Rhodes.

“Throughout his career, Scott has established a strong track record of developing winning strategies, managing and growing unique product offerings and working collaboratively with colleagues and customers. Scott will work closely with our marketing, sales, support and other critical functions to drive compelling product offerings and the best customer experience in the industry.”

Crenshaw said: “I am thrilled to be a part of this talented team at such an exciting moment in the company’s history.”


Box hires ex-Microsoft exec to bolster business in France

Jeremy Grinbaum,  regional vice president for France and southern Europe, Box

Jeremy Grinbaum, regional vice president for France and southern Europe, Box

Box has hired former Microsoft cloud sales exec Jeremy Grinbaum to lead the company’s commercial expansion efforts in France and southern Europe.

Grinbaum, who will be based in Box’s Paris office, has been broad on board as regional vice president for France and southern Europe to drive the cloud storage incumbent’s business in the region, which includes setting up a local sales team.

“We are seeing significant traction in France and southern Europe as businesses in these regions begin to adopt cloud systems to drive efficiency and collaboration,” said David Quantrell, senior vice president and general manager of EMEA at Box.

“We are excited to accelerate our growth in southern Europe, and Jeremy’s leadership and expertise are exactly what we need to drive the adoption of Box’s content and collaboration platform.”

Before joining Box Grinbaum spent the past few years as a senior sales executive at Microsoft, focusing on the company’s cloud services including Yammer and Office 265. He founded a cloud-based collaboration start up in 2007, PersonAll, and has also held senior sales roles at Google, IBM, and TRSB.

“France and southern Europe are moving quickly in the adoption of new technologies. Enterprises are looking for solutions that will allow them to move off of expensive, legacy architecture and create more agile and iterative environments for employees,” Grinbaum said. “I am excited to join this innovative company and play a role in helping organizations transform the way they work.”

Last month Box revealed its quarterly results to the public for the first time, which showed promise. Billings in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 were $82m, a 33 per cent year on year increase. But the company has over the years spent hundreds of millions of dollars bolstering its sales and marketing efforts, accumulating a significant amount of debt in the process, so it’s likely Box’s main focus will be on delivering the return shareholders are looking for from its southern European expansion.