Cloud and hybrid backup and recovery specialist Carbonite has named Mohamad Ali, former Hewlett-Packard chief strategist, as its new president and chief executive, culminating a search begun last February to replace founder David Friend.

DH Kass, Senior Contributing Blogger

December 5, 2014

2 Min Read
Carbonite Names Former HP Strategy Chief as New CEO

Cloud and hybrid backup and recovery specialist Carbonite (CARB) has named Mohamad Ali, former Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) chief strategist, as its new president and chief executive, culminating a search begun last February to replace founder David Friend.

Ali’s appointment became effective on Wednesday, December 3. By prior arrangement, Friend will serve as Executive Chairman of Carbonite’s board and as an advisor on key strategic initiatives.

In turning over Carbonite’s reins to Ali, Friend said the “company has a big future in the rapidly evolving cloud-first landscape, and to seize it we must execute with vision and excellence. Mohamad has the right background and skill set to lead the company as it continues to grow.”

Ali praised Carbonite’s technology, board, employees and channel partners (the company launched a new channel-centric partner program last July) for building its favorable position in the market. 

“Carbonite has built a powerful offering,” he said. “We’re poised to capitalize on opportunities to provide cloud and hybrid business continuity solutions all over the world.”

Ali previously held close counsel with HP chief executive Meg Whitman in his two-year stint as HP Chief Strategy Officer. Prior to his tenure at HP, Ali served as chief executive of the Workforce Optimization division of Aspect Software. His background also includes a turn as president of Avaya Global Services division and 13 years at IBM (IBM), most prominently as Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for the Information Management Division. In that role, he shepherded IBM’s $5 billion acquisition of analytics and big data provider Cognos.

According to a Carbonite 8-K SEC filing, Ali will be paid a base salary of $375,000 with a $500,000 signing bonus, of which he’ll have to repay a prorated portion if he quits within a year. He also has been granted options on 250,000 shares of Carbonite stock at an exercise price of $14.44.

“Mohamad’s compelling track record of leadership, operating expertise and industry vision, across companies big and small, is exactly what we need as Carbonite continues to grow as a provider of cloud and hybrid solutions for businesses everywhere,” said Todd Krasnow, Carbonite Lead Independent Director and search committee head.

Separately, Carbonite said that J2 Global (JCOM) submitted an unsolicited offer at $15 per share, or about $406 million, to buy all of its outstanding shares. In 2012, the business cloud services and digital media company offered $10.50 per share to buy out Carbonite.

Carbonite said its board “will carefully review and consider the offer to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders, taking into account the company’s current strategic plan and growth initiatives.”

Carbonite shares opened on Friday, December 5 at $14.32.

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DH Kass

Senior Contributing Blogger, The VAR Guy

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