Mangstor discreetly appoints ex-pet supplies shipper as its CEO

Cofounder boss Trevor Smith off 'to pursue other opportunities'

+Comment Mangstor quietly changed its CEO and no one noticed.

This NVMe-over-fabrics accessed, NVMe drive array startup is now run by president and CEO Craig Gilmore, who lists no previous professional involvement with storage array and server-storage access technology in his LinkedIn CV whatsoever.

Get this – Mangstor’s announcement says, “as part of this transition, Trevor Smith, co-founder and former President and CEO of Mangstor, will be leaving to pursue other opportunities,” and it thanked him for his contributions.

Gilmore first joined Mangstor as a consultant, helping with sales and marketing. He became CEO on October 19 this year. His previous CEO experience was founding and running VetDepot (2005-2014), where he says he created and built VetDepot to a recognized national brand online retailer of discount pet medications, pet supplies and pet foods. He was also the managing director and CEO of Gilmore and Co, a registered investment advisor.

Since 2014, he has been an advisor to many companies and has become a managing partner at Gateway Venture Partners. That's certainly not the background of your average technology company CEO.

Ashwin Kamath, cofounder and chief architect of Mangstor, provided a canned quote: “Under Craig's guidance and leadership, I am extremely confident that Mangstor will fully realize the value of its technology and solutions as it increases its market footprint.”

Vivek Mohindra, partner at New Science Ventures and chairman of the board, provided one as well: “Mangstor has developed industry-leading solutions that include accelerating SQL workloads, improving latency of video serving, and in burst-buffer applications in many diverse markets including oil and gas services. Craig brings the needed operations, marketing and sales experience to lead Mangstor as it enters a new phase of growth.”

Gilmore’s own canned quote said: “I am honored to have been chosen by the board of directors to lead Mangstor into the next exciting phase of the Company's growth.”

Reg comment

It rather looks as if the Mangstor board decided the upstart biz needed a kick in the ass in the operations, marketing and sales areas, and that Smith’s legs couldn’t deliver the needed kick. OK – so far, so normal. But then they appoint Gilmore to run the ship, and not a professional storage/server technology CEO. That’s ... odd.

Gilmore is not an experienced venture capital guy, and nor is he an experienced professional in the operations, sales and marketing aspects of an advanced hardware and technology startup. This is unlike Mangstor chairman Vivek Mohindra, who has VP and SVP experience at Freescale Semiconductor and Dell in his CV.

Mangstor is facing competition from Dell EMC’s DSSD unit and four other startups: Apeiron, E8, Excelero and Pavilion Data Systems. Among the incumbents and new arrivals who are espousing NVMe over fabrics are HDS, HPE, IBM, Kaminario, NetApp, Nimble, Pure Storage, Tegile and Tintri.

Looking at this array of competition, Mangstor’s board has decided to appoint a CEO who ran an online pet food, medicine and supplies company. He must have talked a hell of a good talk to have walked into the CEO spot, and he better be able to walk the CEO walk equally well because, otherwise, Mangstor will be toast. ®

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