RLX Names New CEO, CFO

Move marks second executive shakeup for RLX in less than three years.

RLX Technologies Inc. on Wednesday went through its second executive shakeup in less than three years when it named Douglas J. Erwin chairman and CEO and Kevin Klausmeyer as chief financial officer.

Erwin replaces Pat Collins, who had been CEO of the company—one of the pioneers of the blade server technology—since October 2001, when he replaced Gary Stimac. Stimac remains on the board of directors.

In a statement released Wednesday, RLX, based in The Woodlands, Texas, did not mention a reason for the change, although partners with several key investors applauded the move.

"Doug is the quintessential leader who has achieved remarkable success throughout his career," Bob Stearns, managing director at Sternhill Partners, said in a prepared statement. "A proven CEO, he knows how to lead and motivate a team, formulate and communicate his vision and drive successful execution. These are the perfect attributes for its leader as RLX begins accelerating its market penetration."

Also in a prepared statement, Erwin said he is "absolutely thrilled and excited to be joining RLX and look forward to leading this strong team to tremendous success. This company pioneered server blades and continues to be the innovation leader with a superior hardware and software solution."

Erwin and Klausmeyer worked together both at PentaSafe Security Technologies Inc.—where Erwin was the CEO and Klausmeyer CFO—and at BMC Software Inc. PentaSafe was bought in December by NetIQ Corp., and Erwin was head of that companys security business until leaving this month.

RLX gained recognition in 2001 when it rolled out its System 324, which crammed 324 blade servers powered by Transmeta Corp.s Crusoe into an industry-standard rack designed to hold 42. It survived the early days of the blade server market when most of its startup peers fell by the wayside, and has since expanded its offerings to include bulkier blades powered by Intel Corp. chips as well as management software.

In February, RLX introduced a new overarching strategy called ActiveIT, which comprises blades, tools for clustering, blade management and provisioning, and professional services.

RLX also unveiled a dual-processor ServerBlade 2800i/3000i equipped with Intel Xeon processors that run at 2.8GHz and 3GHz and a new 6U (10.5-inch) chassis that can hold up to 10 blades.