Isilon CEO - ex-CEO - Steve Goldman has paid the price for its poor post-IPO performance by being unceremonially dumped.
Founder and CTO Sujal Patel is the new CEO. Isilon's finances have also had the finger pointed at them with CFO Stu Fuhlendorf following Goldman through the door onto the street.
All was politeness and calm with Patel who said: "I am delighted to assume this leadership role at the company I started seven years ago. I want to thank Steve for his many contributions to Isilon." Indeed, he did good, lots of good, making many people rich, but then he did bad, lots of bad, making many people's Isilon stock holdings look like leaking buckets.
Isilon's marketing director, Jay Wampold, clarified things a little, reportedly saying, "We have had some execution issues that have hindered us from maximizing our possibilities." Think Britney Spears, marriage, that sort of thing. When CEO have execution issues that don't maximise possibilities, boards of directors often chop the CEO, think Overland Storage and Christopher Calisi or Brocade and Greg Reyes.
Patel urges us all to think long-term about Isilon's prospects: "The opportunities for clustered storage have never been greater as customers seek to address two of the primary IT challenges facing today's enterprise - the rapid growth of digital content and unstructured data and the paradigm shift to clustered and virtualized computing. When I look at our market-leading products, expanding roster of global customers and partners, and talented team of people, I have never been more confident and passionate about the future of Isilon."
He would, wouldn't he, and he has to, hasn't he, but is he right? He probably is; neither EMC nor NetApp seem in any hurry to address the high-end of the network-attached storage (NAS) market that is Isilon's base. A question to ask is can Isilon move downmarket into NetApp and EMC's NAS heartland?
Probably not, at least not without great, truly terrific technology and a real solid base at the high end.
Is Patel the new CEO for the long-term or a short-term fix whilst executive search firms look for the real thing? Isilon's announcements don't say anything at all about this so it looks as if Patel is it. He has the hot seat for good.
The finances are in a bit of a mess it seems. Isilon will postpone the reporting of the company's financial results for the 2007 third quarter and the related investor conference call that was originally scheduled for October 25, 2007. The company will issue a press release announcing the date and conference call information.
We can expect a new CFO appointment soon. If Patel gets a grip and energises the company, and that means sales, sales and more sales, then Isilon should resume its revenue growth curve, which would make any CFO happy.