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Commvault Replaces Former Dell Storage Exec with Another to Lead Channel

A one-time Dell EMC exec is Commvault's new chief partner officer, replacing John Tavares.

Jeffrey Schwartz

September 15, 2022

4 Min Read
Replacing a person

Commvault has replaced one former Dell channel leader with another by appointing Alan Atkinson as chief partner officer. Atkinson will lead the data protection provider’s partner organization, Commvault announced on Wednesday, while John Tavares is leaving the company.

Tavares, who spent 26 years collectively at Dell and EMC, joined Commvault less than two years ago. In his role as VP of global channels and alliances, Tavares oversaw the expansion of Commvault’s new MSP partner program.


Commvault’s Alan Atkinson

With the hiring of Atkinson, Tavares is departing to “pursue opportunities outside of Commvault,” a company spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday. The hiring of Atkinson gives Commvault an opportunity to “refocus on our relationships with partners to accelerate growth and expand our global partner ecosystem. Alan’s extensive industry experience and guidance will enable us to do just that,” the spokeswoman said.

The fact that Atkinson and Tavares both come from Dell and EMC, which Dell acquired in 2016, isn’t unusual. Commvault has developed a reputation for recruiting leaders who have histories with Dell EMC. Commvault president and CEO Sanjay Mirchandani held various leadership positions at EMC from 2006-2013.

Atkinson’s Background

Atkinson is a storage industry veteran, and was at EMC during Mirchandani’s tenure there. Atkinson landed at EMC after it acquired WysDM in 2008, where he was CEO. After he spent roughly two years with EMC, Xiotech, a provider of storage software to OEMs that Seagate acquired, hired Atkinson as CEO.

As Commvault’s chief partner officer, Atkinson will report to chief revenue officer Riccardo Di Blasio.

“Under his leadership, Commvault will further strengthen the company’s strategic alliances with cloud partners and continue to galvanize and grow its partner program,” Di Blasio said.

“Alan is a well-known figure in the data storage industry,” said analyst Camberley Bates, managing director of Evaluator Group. “The market is rapidly moving with cloud taking a stronger position, especially in the data protection implementation. He will be an asset to Commvault in driving their vision.”

Several Key Commvault Exec Departures

Tavares is the latest among several key executives to leave Commvault in recent months. CFO Brian Carolan left Commvault at the end of June after more than 21 years with the company. Chief of business operations Gary Merrill succeeded Carolan as CFO.

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in August.

Manoj Nair, Commvault’s chief cloud officer and general manager of the company’s Metallic business, also left the company in July. Commvault had tapped Nair more than two years ago to lead Metallic, the SaaS storage business it launched seven months earlier. Nair announced on LinkedIn that he joined Snyk, which provides a security platform for software developers.

Among other recent departures was director of product management Preetham Mukhatira, who jumped ship to rival Cohesity in May. Lamia Megdiche, VP of partner strategy and programs, left Commvault in May to become senior VP of partners and alliances at Collibra. And Tracy Pallas, senior director of SaaS partner business model and strategy, left Commvault in June. Pallas is now VP of worldwide channels and strategic alliances at Synack, provider of an on-demand security testing platform.

Pushing for Growth

Mirchandani is under pressure to grow revenue. In its most recent Q1 2023 quarterly earnings report, Commvault’s revenues of $198 million grew 8% year-over-year. Annual recurring revenue (ARR) grew 12%, or 16% in constant currency.

“Compared to other cloud providers, that is low, but Commvault has tremendous competition,” said Techaisle analyst Anurag Agrawal. Under the circumstances, Agrawal added: “I believe they are doing rather well.”

Evaluator Group’s Bates agreed.

“The BUaaS [backup as a service] market has significantly heated up, with many players and more entering or improving their offerings,” she said. “We have seen an increase in IT clients’ requests for assistance in rea-architecting their data protection strategies. Some of this is due to reassessing their ransomware preparedness other is in adopting to cloud technologies.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeffrey Schwartz or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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