Chris O'Malley, a CA Technologies veteran with deep cloud computing and M&A experience, is set to succeed Gary Read as CEO of Nimsoft. The move comes roughly one year after CA acquired Nimsoft. Here's the update, including perspectives from O'Malley (pictured) and Read -- and the potential implications for managed services providers.
O'Malley and Read disclosed the executive transition in separate blog posts (O'Malley perspectives are here; Read perspectives are here). Read decided to step down as CA begins its new fiscal year. O'Malley is a logical successor because he personally oversaw CA's buyout of Nimsoft, and Read reported to O'Malley. Plus, it sounds like Nimsoft is set to announce several executive hires and promotions in the next few days. Here's the update.
Why Now?First: The obvious question -- why is Read leaving Nimsoft and parent CA Technologies now?
The answer, according to Read and O'Malley: Nimsoft has exceeded CA's financial and business expectations through December 2010. (January-March 2011 fiscal results have yet to be disclosed.) At the same time, Nimsoft has successfully expanded beyond its core monitoring software to offer service desk software. As CA begins its new fiscal year this month, Read decided it was the right time to step down from the business so that O'Malley could oversee operations from the get-go for the current fiscal year. "When you make a transition like this you want to leave the business in good shape at the appropriate time," said Read.
Meanwhile, O'Malley is a natural successor. In fact, he was the CA executive sponsor who pinpointed Nimsoft as a potential takeover target. O'Malley also played a key role in CA's buyouts of Oblicore and 3Tera AppLogic.
M&A PartnersRead has essentially worked for O'Malley over the past year, ensuring Nimsoft expanded its managed services customer base while also broadening the Nimsoft software portfolio. Moreover, O'Malley worked to ensure Nimsoft remained an independent business unit within the broader CA Technologies. "Of all the [M&A] transitions I've seen [Nimsoft into CA] has been one of the smoothest," said O'Malley.
So where is O'Malley taking Nimsoft next? The big-picture strategy involves branding and positioning Nimsoft as the de facto CA monitoring platform for managed services providers and cloud providers. But O'Malley will also continue to push Nimsoft beyond monitoring; he sees Nimsoft delivering a larger and larger family of solutions to MSPs, especially as more and more companies shift their data centers to the cloud.
Referencing the book The Big Switch, O'Malley says, "the major power plants of today are the service providers and the MSPs. The cloud is legitimizing and accelerating that transition. You can envision the day when the only data centers are from clouds, service providers and MSPs. We believe that was the trend 12 months ago and a big catalyst in the decisions we made. We want to make Nimsoft the brand for MSPs and service providers, not just a single product but a platform portfolio. Watch us every 90 days, every six months and the clarity will become increasingly obvious."
Also, watch for O'Malley to connect the dots between CA's growing software portfolio. In addition to serving as CEO of Nimsoft, O'Malley is GM of growth markets at CA -- which includes the ARCserve and threat mitigation business.
Moreover, Nimsoft sounds set to announce several executive promotions and new executive hires. The hires, potentially to be announced in the next few days, apparently come from some of Silicon Valley's best-known cloud companies.
Shooting From the HipStill, I gotta admit: I will miss Read's outspoken personality. In his personal blog, Read often poked at rivals without throwing mud, praised his sales team, ranted about flight delays, and waxed poetic about his latest notebook purchase.
When CA first acquired Nimsoft, our media sites openly wondered if CA's legal team would silence Read. But Read kept on blogging publicly, while working behind the scenes with O'Malley to strike a careful balance -- integrating Nimsoft into CA without smothering Nimsoft's independence. Now, it's up to O'Malley to maintain the balancing act.
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