Verari Founder Driggers Buys Company

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2010-01-19 Print this article Print

An investment group led by Verari Systems founder and former CEO David Driggers is buying the assets of the troubled systems maker and is relaunching the company as Verari Technologies. The announcement comes a month after Verari shut down most of its operations and laid off the bulk of its employees. Executives at the time said the company was restructuring. A couple of weeks later, Verari's assets were put on the auction block.

Verari Systems, which appeared to be on its last legs a month ago when it shut down most operations and laid off the bulk of its workforce, is being brought back to life by a group of investors led by former CEO David Driggers.

The group led by Driggers bought most of troubled systems maker's assets at auction earlier this month, and has changed the company's name to Verari Technologies.

The new name is now on the company's Web site, and the management page lists Driggers as chairman and CEO. On its home page, below the new name, is a quick message that says "Same technology. Better company."

In a statement released Jan. 19, Driggers said the company will focus on blade-based high-performance computing offerings and storage devices, as well as the modular containerized data center, named Forest.

He said the investment group he led bought all of Verari's inventory, equipment and technologies, such as Verari's patented Vertical Cooling Technology, BladeRack architecture and modular data center patents.

Driggers said the company will be customer-focused that will look to leverage its patents and technologies.

"We have the opportunity to go back to our roots of being a consulting company that heavily partners to deliver custom solutions for our customers," Driggers said in a statement. "You're going to see a concerted effort on our part to license and promote these unique technologies. With the ever increasing compute and storage issues our customers are facing today, I believe we are going to be well positioned to help them solve even the most demanding challenges."

Verari, which makes energy-efficient servers, some storage devices and the Forest containerized data center product, started shuttering its business Dec. 11, a month after rumors of its financial troubles began circulating after the company failed to appear at the Supercomputer 2009 show.

Verari laid off most of its employees-there were about 225 at the time-though some executives remained at the San Diego, Calif., headquarters to figure out the company's future and handle customer orders.

At the time, then-CEO David Wright said the company was restructuring, though he was unclear what form that restructuring would take.

Later that month, a notice appeared on Verari's site announcing an auction of the company's assets by a firm called Credit Management Association, with a bid deadline of Jan. 7.

With the sale to Driggers, the company was able to avoid bankruptcy.

Some competitors, including SGI, announced it would support Verari customers and their products, and a number of former employees have found jobs elsewhere, according to statements on an employee networking site,

A statement on that site posted Jan. 18 reads:

Well, the rumors are true. ... David Driggers, the original Founder of Verari Systems, will announce tomorrow the successful acquisition of substantially all of Verari Systems' corporate and intellectual property assets by an Investment Group led by Driggers. With the purchase of substantially all of the assets, Mr. Driggers is re-starting the Verari engine this week. The new company, Verari Technologies, will focus on blade-based high-performance computing solutions, modular containerized data centers and blade-based storage development efforts. In addition, the Investment Group purchased all of Verari's inventory, equipment and technologies and is offering immediate support to past Verari Systems' customers.

Driggers was CEO of the company he founded until 2006, when Wright was brought in from storage giant EMC to take over.


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