Datto Names CEO, Reassuring Partner Community
It’s official. After serving as Datto’s interim CEO since Austin McChord stepped down last October, the backup and disaster-recovery provider said Tuesday that Tim Weller will take the role on a permanent basis starting immediately.
Weller had a front row seat to the evolution of the channel behemoth after Vista Equity Partners acquired it in 2017 and was instrumental in Datto’s merger with PSA provider Autotask, which was part of the $1.5 billion deal. His extensive experience growing technology companies also no doubt played a part in the board’s decision and has gone a long way toward reassuring a partner community somewhat wary of what the changes will bring.
Jeremy Reynoldson, president of Bralin Technology Solutions, a Canadian MSP and No. 400 on the 2018 MSP 501 rankings, told Channel Futures upon McChord’s resignation that his departure was a bit worrisome because McChord had been the main driver of the unique culture that made Datto such an attractive partner. But Weller’s past successes and performance so far have given him much more confidence.
“That is an impressive resume and list of experience,” says Reynoldson. “I can only agree with Austin’s comment, ‘Datto is in good hands …’”
Kevin Damghani, chief partner experience engineer at IT Partners, a Michigan-based MSP and No. 186 on the 2018 MSP 501, is also “very encouraged” by Weller’s “proven track record of doing amazing things for companies,” particularly his involvement in the massively successful IPO of cloud service provider Akamai in 1999. But Damghani points out that Weller also has a reputation among Datto partners as being hands-on in the technical aspects of Datto, too.
“In terms of Austin vs. Tim, they are just so opposite,” said Damghani. “I mean, both of them are engineering nerds, but Tim definitely has more of that business head. It’ll change. It’ll look different. It’ll be a little more business and a little less startup.”
Damghani went on to add, “Tim is committed to the MSP channel and has grand visions for its growth and long-term health. We look forward to him taking on this role.”
Indeed, Weller tells us that Datto’s go-forward strategy these days places heavy emphasis on scaling to meet market needs, and that means thinking about industries that make sense to integrate into its core offerings. The provider is “growing up,” so to speak. But comparisons of Weller and McChord, while inevitable, make the new CEO uneasy.
“Scale does bring certain challenges. I hope that partners see [any changes] whether they’re positive or negative as more a result of that scale, not Tim vs. Austin,” he told Channel Futures. “I bring a slightly larger-company background … Austin, obviously, was all in on Datto since started he it. I’m trying to help us anticipate the growth from here and make sure it still feels one-to-one for our partners.”
While adding PSA capabilities with the Autotask merger was a big step in Datto’s evolution as a channel powerhouse, Weller is adamant that the company is laser-focused on ensuring its partners experience the same personal and energetic feel that helped create its big channel presence. It’s never really business as usual after a big change in strategy such as the one that accompanied the blockbuster deal, but Weller tells us that he hopes the conversations with partners …