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WTH? Veeam retires one CEO, two pop up in his place

This co-CEO nonsense is spreading from Oracle

+Comment Backup firm Veeam has retired its freshly promoted CEO to a board committee chair role and promoted two other execs to be co-CEOs.

The organisational structure changes are:

  • CEO Bill Largent exits to become Chairman of the Finance & Compensation Committees on Veeam's board
  • President, COO and board member Peter McKay becomes co-CEO
  • Co-founder, CTO and board member Andrei Baronov becomes co-CEO
  • Co-founder and president Ratmir Timoshev continues in his role

A Veeam statement reads: "These executive changes add extra focus and strength to help the company continue its rapid expansion into the Enterprise and Cloud segments and enable it to accelerate growth into the Americas and APJ markets. Also, Veeam reaffirms its goal of becoming [a] $1bn in revenue company by 2019."

Timoshev added: "Peter has a powerful track record as CEO of several successful startups as well as leadership positions in large established technology leaders like VMware and IBM, and has taken Veeam to the next level in the short 10 months since he joined last summer." Ah, that boy done good.

There's more: "Peter has played a pivotal role in strengthening our GTM sales and marketing strategy and teams, and taking the company into Enterprise and Cloud segments. By stepping up and running the go-to-market side of the business, and teaming up with long-term co-founder [Andrei] and the visionary that drives our technology and solutions, we are providing a rock-solid platform for future growth."

Veeam states that McKay and Baronov will focus on key functional competencies and they, along with Largent and Timashev as members of the Board of Directors, will be responsible for optimising the company's growth potential:

  • McKay will look after go-to-market, Finance and HR functions, as well as work in tandem with Baronov as co-CEO to drive the company's future growth
  • Baronov will continue as CTO and oversee Veeam's R&D, market strategy and product management functions with the focus on continued expansion of Veeam's total addressable market (TAM)
  • Largent will be responsible for the oversight of all corporate governance matters, tax structure, investment management and the internal audit function


This is weird. If McKay has done so good so fast, implicitly doing better than Largent, why not give him the whole ship to run?

Also, being CTO is a full-time job in most companies. As for having a couple of co-CEOs, we're instantly reminded of Oracle, with Larry Ellison string-pulling as CTO, and Mark Hurd and Safra Catz being co-CEOs. Being a co-CEO in Oracle is a full-time job.

Veeam does not have a COO, which perhaps explains why the CEO role could be heavier than at other suppliers, but a fix for that problem would be to hire a COO instead of having two CEOs.

Largent, who joined Veeam in 2008, became CEO in July 2016, taking over from Ratmir Timoshev. At that time Peter McKay was also recruited from VMware to be the COO and was given a board membership, somewhat unusually, along with Largent.

So now, 10 months into the job, and with Veeam still growing, Largent gives up any operational, day-to-day responsibility, and gets this high-status but comparatively low activity board-level job.

When the latest results were announced the high-level canned quote came from McKay and not Largent. What's going on? We're asking Veeam and will let you know whatever we find out. ®

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