Fusion-io appoints new leader as co-founder quits

Summary:The hardware and software company is losing its CEO and chief marketing officer who are leaving to pursue new investment opportunities.

US-based storage company Fusion-io has appointed a new leader following the departure of co-founder David Flynn, who has left to pursue other business ventures.

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Fusion-io: Apple, Facebook customer concentration hurts (for now)

Apple and Facebook have stocked up their data centers with solid state flash storage and have paused spending, but Fusion-io should be able to diversify its customer base.

Fusion-io also announced the departure of chief marketing officer, Rick White, who is said to be leaving the company so that he can work alongside Flynn on a new business project. However, both Flynn and White will remain on the Fusion-io board and serve in advisory roles for the next 12 months.

Fusion-io announced on Wednesday that Shane Robison, 59, will take over as the new chairman, CEO and president of the company immediately.

Fusion-io's solid state memory drives (SSDs) are made with flash technology and used by companies such as Facebook and Apple . The company's platform and software-defined storage products aim to accelerate virtualisation, databases, cloud computing, big data and performance applications.

"Shane Robison is a proven executive with the experience and expertise to lead Fusion-io as we enter our next phase of growth and development," said Scott Sandell, lead independent director of the Fusion-io Board, in a statement on Wednesday.  

Robison has previously worked for AT&T Labs, Cadence Design Systems and Apple in business management and product development roles. His most recent position was at HP where he was executive VP and CTO from May 2002 until November, 2011.

The company went public in June 2011 while Flynn was CEO and shares reached a peak of $41.69 in November 2011 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

At the end of play on Tuesday shares were listed at $18 but they tumbled by more than 25 percent on Wednesday following the announcement and at the time of publication were sat at $13.32.

"It is not surprising to see a stock react like this after significant management changes," said Brad Gastwirth CEO of ABR Investment Strategy an investment advisory firm, in an email to ZDNet. "Anytime a CEO leaves with another founding member, there will be significant concerns."

"We believe there are structural issues facing Fusion-io longer term and this kind of management change plays into that thesis. There will be an onslaught of new competition coming in the second half of 2013 and into 2014, which will put pressure on Fusion-io."

Topics: Storage, Data Centers

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Sam is generally at his happiest with a new piece of technology in his hands or nailing down an exclusive story. In the past he's written for The Engineer and the Daily Mail, covering emerging technology in electronics, energy, defence, materials, aerospace, automotive and healthcare. These days, Sam is particularly interested in emerging... Full Bio

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