SolarWinds (SWI), parent of N-able Technologies, says CFO Michael Berry has resigned. But the IT management and MSP software company has a CFO succession plan in place.

Joe Panettieri, Former Editorial Director

August 22, 2013

2 Min Read
SolarWinds CFO Resigns; N-able Parent Has Succession Plan But Stock Falls

SolarWinds (SWI), which is struggling to meet Wall Street’s growth expectations, is losing CFO Michael Berry — who has resigned to join another technology company. SolarWinds has a CFO succession plan in place. But Berry’s exit, effective October 1, comes as SolarWinds tries to accelerate its growth while managing the recent N-able Technologies acquisition. In fact, Berry was the executive who oversaw SolarWinds’ M&A activity during the N-able deal.

Berry has resigned to join another technology company, SolarWinds indicated. SolarWinds said Jason Ream, currently vice president of growth strategy, will become CFO upon Berry’s exit. Also, J. Barton Kalsu, currently chief accountant and SVP of finance, will become chief accounting officer. Both will report to SolarWinds CEO Kevin Thompson.

Overall, SolarWinds remains in growth mode — but the company’s top-line revenues haven’t been growing fast enough to please Wall Street. SolarWinds stock fell more than 5 percent today amid concern about the CFO transition and growth challenges.

Thompson has conceded that SolarWinds needs to execute its business plan more effectively. At the same time, he has previously stated that N-able’s executive team is self-managing that business division. In fact, SolarWinds recently increased N-able’s financial outlook for 2013.

N-able’s business grew more than 55 percent in Q1 2013 — prior to the SolarWinds buyout. GM JP Jauvin recently explained the business’s growth and strategy to MSPmentor’s CJ Arlotta.

Meanwhile, Steve Ashley, a senior VP at Robert W. Baird, issued a research note expressing some concern about Berry’s exit, stating that the departure represents “important management experience” exiting the company. Still, Ashley didn’t sound the alarm. He noted that SolarWinds has been hiring sales team members and increasing its marketing spend to boost sales. 

Next Moves

MSPs should keep a close eye on N-able’s partner summit, set for October in Arizona. It’s a safe bet Senior VP of Sales Mike Cullen and other N-able leaders will describe the company’s 2014 product roadmap at the conference. And longer term, MSPmentor believes N-able will offer some of SolarWinds’ tools — particularly help desk solutions — to its MSP base.

In the meantime, I doubt new SolarWinds CFO Barton Kalsu will shake up the way N-able’s finances are managed, since CEO Thompson has repeatedly praised the N-able sales, technology and business teams in public forums.

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About the Author(s)

Joe Panettieri

Former Editorial Director, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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