Atempo Adds Execs Con Brio

Backup software company revamps executive roster, while migrating to US

August 25, 2004

4 Min Read
Network Computing logo

Since moving its corporate headquarters to the U.S. in March, backup software company Atempo Inc. has set a blistering tempo for executive hiring (see Atempo Asks America to Say Oui).

Over the last four months, the 12-year-old private company has added the following managers to its roster:

The changes began at the top, with CEO Wojcik, who spent 17 years with EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC). He joined Atempos board in April 2003 and replaced Thierry Flajoliet as CEO on June 1 (see Atempo Puts Ex-EMCer on Board).

Wojcik brought along fellow EMC veteran Broekarts in June and hired Gauthier today. He also recruited Williams and VP of North American sales Marianne Nole while he was still on the board.

“No, I didn’t go through the office with a chainsaw,” Wojcik jests. “I just brought in a global team. This was a planned evolution, as opposed to a shoot-from-the hip strategy.”Atempo’s main goal is to establish a market presence in the U.S., where only 38 of its 2,000-plus customers are based. Wojcik sees enterprise backup and recovery software as a billion-dollar-plus market. As evidence, he cites the growth of a couple of giant competitors such as Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) and EMC/Legato, as well as private companies like CommVault Systems Inc., BakBone Software Inc. (Toronto: BKB), and Syncsort Inc.

Wojcik says he’ll stack Atempo’s Time Navigator software against any opposition, but the company can’t grow without cracking the U.S. market. That’s why it moved its headquarters from from Paris to Palo Alto, Calif. The move began under Flajoliet, who then stepped aside when Wojcik took over.

Flajoliet is a financial guy, and Wojcik credits him with cracking the whip on Atempo’s debt, eliminating 100 jobs, and returning the company to profitability in 2003.

But Flajoliet is a soft-spoken guy with a heavy French accent -- hardly the ideal corporate front man for the newly settled U.S. company. The board felt that was a better job for Wojcik, who returned to the U.S. in 2002 after stints as VP of EMC’s EMEA and Asia/Pacific operations.

Atempo’s move from France to America will take a few years to complete. Only 22 of the company’s 180 employees are in Palo Alto. The entire 44-person engineering team remains in France, and Atempo has 13 sales reps in France compared to five in the U.S. Wojcik says he doesn’t plan on gutting the French staff but will reduce it through attrition. Any French employees who leave will be replaced in the U.S.“A lot of companies in Europe know about us,” Wojcik says, “but in the world’s largest market, people have no clue who Atempo is or what the hell it means.”

His plan is to raise awareness of Atempo largely through partnerships with companies that can get Atempo in the door at large corporations. Atempo has international reseller agreements with Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK), and Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) (NYSE: SGI). (See HP Certifies Atempo and StorageTek, Atempo Work Together.) Wojcik would like to expand those relationships into OEM deals, and he is also pursuing agreements with Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

and Advanced Digital Information Corp. (Nasdaq: ADIC).

Atempo also hopes to get a sales bump from product enhancements. Plans are to add snapshot capability to Time Navigator 4.0, the vendor's flagship upgrade, which is in beta and set for November release. Encryption management and policy-based storage management features are in development for planned 2005 releases.

Wojcik’s goal is to gain 2 percent of the U.S. market share for his firm, doubling Atempo’s current annual revenue of $26 million by 2006. He sees 1 percent of the market as a realistic goal within six months.

Indeed, 1 percent market share is a small drop in the bucket compared with what the likes of Veritas, EMC's Legato, and even Commvault are after. But it will help Atempo, which needs the money. After attaining profitability last year, its profits are being swallowed up by the U.S. expansion costs. While the company says it should show a profit in the last quarter of 2004, it will probably be in the red for the full year.— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights