Changes in the Executive Suite, Reorganization at CommVault Signal Growth Initiative

Photo: N. Robert Hammer of CommVault Photo Credit: Courtesy CommVault
N. Robert Hammer of CommVault | Courtesy CommVault

CommVault, the Tinton Falls company that makes Simpana data management software, has reorganized and beefed up its executive suite with new hires from tech powerhouses such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and EMC.

Observers say that the company is both reacting to flat growth and reorganizing to spur future growth by enhancing its sales capabilities and honing the way it approaches the market. The changes are expected to affect how the company bundles and prices its products.

In its 2015 third-quarter-earnings conference call, as reported by Seeking Alpha, chairman, president and CEO N. Robert Hammer said that total revenues were “$153 million flat year-over-year and up 1% sequentially. Software revenue was $71.7 million down 9% year-over-year and 3% sequentially. Services revenue was $81.3 million and grew 10% year-over-year and was down 1% sequentially. On a sequential constant currency basis, total revenue is $156.9 million. On a sequential constant currency basis, software revenue is $73.7 million and services revenue is $83.2 million.”

According to a separate report by Seeking Alpha, CommVault’s troubles are not tied to its products. “In 2014, Gartner ranked CommVault as a leader in the backup and recovery market for the 4th consecutive year. Additionally, CommVault is considered a leader by Forrester Research. These two independent research firms’ leadership ranking of CommVault demonstrate the company’s product quality.”

“Our executive team expansion and business unit reorganization are both intrinsically tied to our continued focus on better serving customers and refining our go-to-market strategies,” Hammer told “Attracting top talent from companies like Oracle, EMC and Microsoft is affirmation of our value proposition as we set the stage for CommVault’s next chapter of growth.”

CommVault said the changes were part of “CommVault Next,” the company’s business transformation initiative.

The extent — of change at CommVault is stunning:

  • There is a new head of sales, Americas, Scott Little,  who will lead the U.S. sales organization to accelerate growth in software licenses. Little spent nearly two decades at Oracle.
  • Brian J. Allison, formerly of Cisco Systems, will become vice president of worldwide alliances, responsible for deepening and extending CommVault’s alliances ecosystem to develop joint go-to-market initiatives “that benefit customers and alliance partners.”
  • Mather Chiott is now director of the newly created Strategic Pricing Unit. Chiott was last at EMC.
  • CommVault’s new chief marketing officer is Chris Powell, who is driving the corporate marketing, solution marketing, industries marketing and other areas. He comes to CommVault from SAP.
  • Brian Brockway, the company’s technology leader, has been named chief technology officer. “Brockway played a critical leadership role in CommVault’s technology evolution over the past twelve years, while serving in a variety of product management and marketing roles,” a statement said.

The company has been reorganized into four business units.

  • Data Protection and Recovery, headed by be Sangram Dange, who has held leadership roles at Oracle, McAfee and Network General.
  • Virtualization, Cloud Ops and Orchestration, led by Sabrinath Rao, who was most recently at Microsoft.
  • Information and Mobility Management, headed by Rama Kolappan, who has had leadership roles at Accellion, Intel and Motorola Mobility.
  • Vertical Solutions, directed by Ananth Balasubramanian, who comes to CommVault from PwC, where he helped organizations transform their businesses to cope with the Affordable Health Care Act.

New Jersey has a big stake in CommVault’s success. In 2012, the N.J. Economic Development Authority awarded the company $7.2 million under the Business Employment Incentive Program to create 250 jobs and $1.35 million under the Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant program to keep 300 employees here. The company has said that it expects to eventually total 2,000 employees in New Jersey.

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