FusionIO (FIO) SSD vendor CEO out in a flash, whats up with that?

May 8, 2013 – 12:38 pm

Storage I/O trends

FusionIO (FIO) who recently bought Nexgen to expand their reach from just a server centric to a more broad flash focus has seen their CEO and founder David Flynn race out the door. Not surprisingly, wall street who does not like to be surprised were surprised just a week or two after the most recent earning announcements reacted with a sell off of the FIO stock.

Here is the conundrum, those who were or are fans of Flynn, FIO and their approach along with server centric in your face approach may not be happy with this move.

On the other hand, those were not fans of Flynn, FIO and their approach of getting in your face of having others do so if you did not fall into their ranks may be happy with this move.

One question is was Flynn shown the door and left before it could hit his backside on the way out, or, did he see something and pulled the rip cord on his golden parachute, or some other or combination?

With the recent Nexgen acquisition which could be seen as a move by FIO (and their board of directors) to make more attractive either for an acquisition. Or, to transition from a server-side centric approach to a broader focus.

If the former, perhaps Flynn sees or saw the writing on the wall on who those suitors might or would be and decided to take his money now and run joining the serial entrepreneur ranks now.

Otoh, perhaps Flynn was just too focused with a singular focus and passion on the server space thus not able or interested in transitioning to a broader focus, which might also have involved eating a bit of crow. By eating a bit of crow, I mean given some of the in your face and it’s the FIO way or the highway approach of server only flash.

With Nexgen to be successful that would involve aligning more with the larger vendors and other startups who offer broader portfolios, something that was targeted and mud or fud thrown at by FIO, something that some CEOs or others can have challenges with. It should also be noted that FIO has brought in new employees with experience in broader marketers, not to mention industry veterans like John Spiers of Nexgen.

Candidly, I am not sure which of the above is the scenario, however, for those involved with FIO as employees, partners, customers and shareholders I hope some clarity arrives soon for them. Whether that clarity is via an acquisition (who is one of many questions), or a launching as FIO 2.0 or something similar with a focus on bring more capabilities to customers, increasing their touch points selling more products, hardware, software as opposed to leaving those for others (e.g. their competitors).

Ok, nuff said (for now)

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
twitter @storageio

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