NetApp, which has been spinning its wheels to gain storage IT market share for the past couple of years, made some changes at the top June 2, replacing its CEO/Chairman with two veteran executives.
The board of directors of the $10 billion Sunnyvale, Calif.-based storage and data protection provider replaced CEO and Chairman Tom Georgens with Executive Vice President for Product Operations George Kurian (pictured) as CEO. Board member Mike Nevens was appointed chairman.
The changes take place immediately.
“These changes are aimed at speeding the company’s movement to its next phase of innovation and growth,” Nevens said in a press statement. “While we intend to conduct a CEO search, we have the utmost confidence in George’s ability to lead the company, given his deep knowledge of NetApp and support from a strong executive team.”
Georgens, 55, who replaced popular longtime company leader Dan Warmenhoven in 2009 as CEO, did not provide a statement for the announcement.
There were key clues to the upheaval two weeks ago, when in the quarterly earnings report Georgens stated that he was not satisfied with the company’s financial performance. In the same report, the company revealed plans to lay off about 500 employees. NetApp trimmed about 900 people two years ago.
NetApp has been having some trouble for a while. The company’s revenues fell 2.5 percent overall in 2014, and the company’s debt load increased by 50 percent to about $1.5 billion. The company has seen decreasing revenue for the last five years.
NetApp stock, which has slipped more than 20 percent in 2015 alone, was selling for $43 on Dec. 5, 2014, and now is priced at $33 — a drop of 23 percent in six months.
Kurian, 48, was the Executive Vice President for Product Operations at NetApp, responsible for overseeing the strategy and development of the company’s product and solutions portfolio. Prior to that role, Kurian was senior vice president of the Data ONTAP group. In that role, he oversaw the product road map and engineering execution of the Data ONTAP Operating System, which the company claims is the world’s most widely deployed storage operating system. Kurian joined NetApp in April 2011.
His identical twin, Thomas, is President of Product Development at Oracle.