Commvault Gets New Leadership: Hammer and Bunte Out, Former Puppet CEO Mirchandani In

Tinton Falls-based Commvault, a public tech company that employs more than 2,800 people, announced the appointment of Sanjay Mirchandani as president, CEO and member of the board, effective immediately.

Mirchandani, previously the CEO of Puppet, an Oregon-based IT automation company, replaces Bob Hammer, the retiring president and CEO. Hammer has led the company for more than two decades, growing it to a $3.1 billion market cap.

Al Bunte, who has served alongside Hammer for more than two decades, is stepping down from his role as COO while maintaining his position as a member of the board. Both Hammer and Bunte will remain with the company through the transitional period, with Hammer stepping away on March 31.

Also announced was the appointment of Nick Adamo as chairman of the board, replacing Hammer, who will remain on the board as chairman emeritus; both changes will become effective on April 18.

Adamo became a board member in August last year, following the involvement of activist investor Elliott Management (New York) with Commvault, according to an article by Chris Mellor at BlocksandFiles.com. It was Elliott’s influence that caused Commvault to initiate a restructuring project and agree to Hammer’s resignation last May.

Commvault had planned for this transition for many months, conducting an exhaustive global search for the right person to lead the company. In fact, the search had taken so long, it led some observers to wonder why.

Sanjay Mirchandani | Courtesy Mirchandi Twitter page

Mirchandani has held senior leadership positions at VMware (Palo Alto, Calif.), Dell EMC (Hopkinton, Mass.) and Microsoft (in Singapore), and has significant expertise in the transformation of IT. At Puppet, he grew the user base of that company’s open-source and commercial solutions to more than 40,000, including 75 percent of the Fortune 100.

In the BlocksandFiles article, Mellor asked Mirchandani why he was interested in Commvault. The answer revealed that the new CEO has ties to New Jersey. “It was time for a change at Puppet, and he wanted to move back to the East coast of the USA; he has family in the New Jersey area, where Commvault is head-quartered,” the article stated.

“Commvault is attractive to Mirchandani because it is a bigger company and in good shape. We asked if it could become a billion dollar company: ‘The space is growing really rapidly. I’m not going to put a number on it just yet. I’m very excited about this space. Infrastructure and applications are coming together’ and ‘data is paramount. We’re in a great position to define that to our customers.’”

In the Asbury Park Press, Michael Diamond noted that Mirchandani isn’t new to the Garden State. He graduated in 1986 from Drew University, in Madison, with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He was named to the school’s board of trustees in 2017. 

The impact of the change on Commvault’s plans to help transform Fort Monmouth, where it is housed, is unknown. Two years ago, at the company’s 20th anniversary celebration, which we reported on here, Hammer discussed the company’s growth.

Asked if the company had enough space at its headquarters to accommodate the planned growth, Hammer noted that there wasn’t enough space in the building, but that there was enough space on the 55-acre campus.

 “We’re not moving. When we built this campus, we built it to triple the size [of our company] on this property.”

Also see: Fort Monmouth tech giant Commvault names new CEO to replace long-time leader Bob Hammer

Commvault announces Mirchandani, a leading IT executive, will replace retiring CEO Hammer

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