Pats on the back all round as Pure Storage announces new CEO and growing revenues

Scott Dietzen chairman now, Charles Giancarlo takes reins


As Pure Storage boasted strong second-quarter sales yesterday, the company also revealed that CEO Scott Dietzen would be stepping down to become chairman of the board.

Dietzen's replacement, Charles Giancarlo, was an EVP and chief technology and development officer for Cisco between 1993 and 2007. He then became a board member of Accenture, Avaya, Arista, Attivo Networks and Imperva, to name but a few, and a managing director, head of value creation and later senior advisor at Silver Lake Partners from 2007 to 2015.

But Giancarlo has not been a CEO of a company like Pure before, setting aside a brief stint as interim president and CEO at floundering networks maker Avaya from 2008 to 2009.

Dietzen's prepared quote said the search for a successor started some time ago. "As the board and I planned for an orderly leadership transition, and sought the right CEO to realize and execute the next stage of our vision for Pure Storage, we embarked on a global search a few months ago to identify the best candidates.

"We have found a leader in Charlie who we expect will continue to drive growth and market leadership with the spirit of innovation and quality our customers and partners count on. Most importantly, we believe Charlie is the best candidate to scale Pure to become a multibillion-dollar global leader in data infrastructure and solutions."

Giancarlo, who is of course "thrilled", said: "Dietz has done a tremendous job positioning the company for long-term success... Pure is in a great position to continue gaining market share across its three growth segments: its data platform for cloud, accelerating data-driven applications like artificial intelligence and Internet of Things, as well as helping enterprises that are seeking to derive more value from their data."

Results

Pure's second quarter (ended 31 July) revenues for fiscal '18 bounced 37.6 per cent year-on-year to $224.5m. The net loss of $61.7m was roughly the same as the $59.6m loss a year ago and the $62.4m loss in the prior quarter.

Pure_results_Q2fy2018

Pure Storage revenues and GAAP net income to Q2 fy2018

CFO Tim Ritters summed it up: "Our Q2 results highlight solid top-line growth and continued improvement in operating leverage. We are laser-focused on executing against our plan to achieve $1bn+ in revenue this year and marching steadily to profitability in the near future."

The company gained more than 350 new customers in the quarter, taking its overall count past 3,700.

Earnings call

Giancarlo was present in the earnings call to discuss the results. Dietzen introduced him thus: "He has the operating experience having run a tens of billions of dollar multi-product business, he has the product chops having served as CTO, and he has the entrepreneurial spirit having built startups as well as managed hyper-growth at Cisco."

Cloud as the main segment is followed by data storage for analytics, AI, machine and deep learning, with the third being legacy on-premises enterprise IT. The FlashBlade product is crucial in the second segment and president David Hatfield said revenue from it "continues to grow at 2x the rate of FlashArray during the same point in its evolution".

He added: "Pure now serves more than 600 cloud companies across software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, and consumer internet. Cloud continues to be our strongest segment, at more than 25 per cent of revenues and one that we believe we can increasingly take share in."

Dietzen doesn't see HCI products in the cloud space nor in the AI and Internet of Things fields, where "hyperconverged is not seen as relevant because it doesn't allow you to mix and match GPUs and CPUs in the right ratio to exploit the insights inside of the data".

HCI doesn't affect Pure much in the enterprise space because "at scale, with converged infrastructure we are able to offer something that is similarly easier to use but dramatically higher performance, lower cost and much denser".

Asked about the CEO transition, Dietzen said: "I've been in the job seven years and we have done some great things, grew revenue to $1bn and growing from about 20 to approaching 2,000 employees worldwide. And as I look to the road ahead for Pure, I felt we needed a different class of experience in operating at scale."

Dietzen joined Pure as CEO in September 2010. The company was founded in 2009. He had previously been CEO and president at Zimbra and a CTO at BEA Systems before that.

Pure's guidance for the next quarter's results is for revenue between $267m and $275m – $271m would equate to a 37.6 per cent rise year-on-year. Giancarlo takes over the running of a fast-growing business and will need a delicate touch at first just to keep it on track, and then a controlling one to reach profitability. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading
  • China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D
    Because Beijing isn't above covert ops to accomplish its five-year goals

    Chinese cyberspies targeted two Russian defense institutes and possibly another research facility in Belarus, according to Check Point Research.

    The new campaign, dubbed Twisted Panda, is part of a larger, state-sponsored espionage operation that has been ongoing for several months, if not nearly a year, according to the security shop.

    In a technical analysis, the researchers detail the various malicious stages and payloads of the campaign that used sanctions-related phishing emails to attack Russian entities, which are part of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec Corporation.

    Continue reading
  • FTC signals crackdown on ed-tech harvesting kid's data
    Trade watchdog, and President, reminds that COPPA can ban ya

    The US Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said it intends to take action against educational technology companies that unlawfully collect data from children using online educational services.

    In a policy statement, the agency said, "Children should not have to needlessly hand over their data and forfeit their privacy in order to do their schoolwork or participate in remote learning, especially given the wide and increasing adoption of ed tech tools."

    The agency says it will scrutinize educational service providers to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations under COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

    Continue reading
  • Mysterious firm seeks to buy majority stake in Arm China
    Chinese joint venture's ousted CEO tries to hang on - who will get control?

    The saga surrounding Arm's joint venture in China just took another intriguing turn: a mysterious firm named Lotcap Group claims it has signed a letter of intent to buy a 51 percent stake in Arm China from existing investors in the country.

    In a Chinese-language press release posted Wednesday, Lotcap said it has formed a subsidiary, Lotcap Fund, to buy a majority stake in the joint venture. However, reporting by one newspaper suggested that the investment firm still needs the approval of one significant investor to gain 51 percent control of Arm China.

    The development comes a couple of weeks after Arm China said that its former CEO, Allen Wu, was refusing once again to step down from his position, despite the company's board voting in late April to replace Wu with two co-chief executives. SoftBank Group, which owns 49 percent of the Chinese venture, has been trying to unentangle Arm China from Wu as the Japanese tech investment giant plans for an initial public offering of the British parent company.

    Continue reading
  • SmartNICs power the cloud, are enterprise datacenters next?
    High pricing, lack of software make smartNICs a tough sell, despite offload potential

    SmartNICs have the potential to accelerate enterprise workloads, but don't expect to see them bring hyperscale-class efficiency to most datacenters anytime soon, ZK Research's Zeus Kerravala told The Register.

    SmartNICs are widely deployed in cloud and hyperscale datacenters as a means to offload input/output (I/O) intensive network, security, and storage operations from the CPU, freeing it up to run revenue generating tenant workloads. Some more advanced chips even offload the hypervisor to further separate the infrastructure management layer from the rest of the server.

    Despite relative success in the cloud and a flurry of innovation from the still-limited vendor SmartNIC ecosystem, including Mellanox (Nvidia), Intel, Marvell, and Xilinx (AMD), Kerravala argues that the use cases for enterprise datacenters are unlikely to resemble those of the major hyperscalers, at least in the near term.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022