Stratus Appoints New CEO

Stratus names its president, David Laurello, CEO as it prepares to bring the company public.

Stratus Technologies Inc. has appointed a new chief executive as it prepares to expand the verticals it serves and to bring the company public.

David Laurello, an eight-year Stratus veteran who was appointed president and chief operating officer in March 2002, this week has taken over as CEO from Stephen Kiely, who is now executive chairman of the Maynard, Mass., company.

Laurello said the change was something that he and Kiely had in mind last year. He said they wanted to get all the changes in the company settled before it went public. Laurello declined to give a timeframe for taking the company public.

"[The CEO change] is part of natural transition Steve Kiely and I worked out a while ago," Laurello said.

Stratus sells two lines of servers, its Continuum family of high-end systems and a group of Wintel-based fault-tolerant servers. The latter systems feature at least two of each component running in lockstep, so if one component breaks down, the backup continues the process with no interruption.

The company also sells storage hardware, including EMC Corp.s Clariion systems.

Stratus currently focuses on four verticals, including banking, financial services, telephony and E-911, and later this summer will move into the health care field. As in the other fields, Stratus will target applications that need high availability, Laurello said. In the health care field, that includes such applications as records management and the digitizing, storage and retrieval of X-rays, he said.

"Now that we feel we have a foothold in the four [other verticals], we can expand," he said.

Stratus in February re-entered the telecommunications business when it bought Cemprus LLC from Platinum Equity Partners.

It was a reunion of sorts. Stratus Computer Inc. was bought by Ascend Communications in 1998, which then spun off the enterprise computing group to form Stratus Technologies. The telecom part of Stratus business changed hands several times over the next five years, including acquisitions by Lucent Technologies Inc. and then Platinum Equity Partners.

Stratus officials intend to support Cemprus technology on its fault-tolerant line of servers. It currently operates on the Continuum line, as well as on hardware from Sun Microsystems Inc.