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Veeam management changes accompany product transformation

Veeam, once focused primarily on virtual machines, widens supports for other platforms as the company's revenue increases and management team transforms.

Veeam Software has a new leadership structure, although the leaders are not new to the backup vendor.

New Veeam management roles were unveiled last month at the VeeamON user conference. Veeam promoted Peter McKay and Andrei Baronov into co-CEO positions. McKay had been Veeam's COO and president since July 2016. Baronov, one of Veeam's two founders, will continue to perform his CTO duties, as well as holding down a CEO job. William Largent moves from CEO into a new role as chairman of the company's Finance & Compensation Committees.

Largent became CEO in June 2016 when he replaced Veeam founder Ratmir Timashev, who still holds a board seat and is actively involved in Veeam management decisions. McKay joined the company at the time of Largent's promotion to CEO.

"It became natural to do it together," McKay said of the decision to split the CEO job in two.

Two of a kind

McKay, who retains the title of president, acknowledged that the Veeam management arrangement may seem unconventional to outsiders, but he maintains that it's a good fit internally. The two co-CEOs will work closely together but have separate areas of concentration.

McKay will run the go-to-market operation, which includes sales, marketing and financial elements. Baronov's emphasis is on research and development, as well as product management.

Peter McKayPeter McKay

"I'm not the deep technology guy," McKay said. "He is."

The new Veeam management arrangement opens the question of who's in charge. Veeam now has two active CEOs, with the last two CEOs still involved in the company. What happens if McKay and Baronov disagree on company direction? And how much input do the former CEOs still have?

McKay said he has the final say on all Veeam marketing issues, while Baronov takes the lead on product decisions. But that doesn't address what happens if sales and marketing and product development teams clash, which happens in tech companies. Having dual CEOs is not unique, however. Oracle has split its CEO role between Mark Hurd and Safra Catz since Larry Ellison relinquished the position in 2014. And Ellison remains at Oracle as chairman, just as Timashev remains at Veeam.

I did not know it was going to be so big.
Ratmir Timashevco-founder, Veeam

Founded in 2006, privately held Veeam claims approximately 245,000 customers. Timashev said the company wants to remain founder and entrepreneur led. That is why Veeam remains a private company, even while its executives said it is profitable.

Veeam is shooting for $1 billion in annual bookings by 2018. It hit $607 million in 2016, 10 years after Timashev and Baronov founded the company. Veeam said its bookings increased 28% in 2016 over 2015.

Timashev said he knew the company was going to be big at the time he started it, but, he admitted, "I did not know it was going to be so big."

Data management across platforms

Veeam upgraded its flagship data protection product at VeeamON.

Veeam Availability Suite 10, due in late 2017, features native object storage support, with policy-driven automated data management designed to reduce long-term retention and compliance costs. This feature includes broad cloud object storage support with Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure Blob and any S3/Swift-compatible storage. Version 10 supports virtual, physical and cloud workloads.

Veeam Availability for Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud-native, agentless backup and availability product that protects and recovers AWS applications and data. It helps enterprises move to and manage a multicloud or hybrid cloud environment, according to Veeam.

"At Veeam, we assume a multicloud world," McKay said.

Ratmir TimashevRatmir Timashev

Timashev said Veeam services now comprise overall data management. He pointed to enhanced physical support, which marks a "major transformation" for the vendor that began solely to protect virtual machines.

For example, Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows, which became generally available the week of VeeamON, extends the Veeam "Always-On Cloud" Availability Platform to the public cloud and physical servers. It protects Windows-based physical servers, workstations and endpoints, as well as Windows workloads running in public clouds, including Microsoft Azure and AWS. It's built on Veeam Endpoint Backup, which has been downloaded more than 1 million times since April 2015, according to the vendor.

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