Trebia Ousts CEO

Storage chip startup boots CEO Bob Conrad and engineering VP Willie Anderson, sources say

March 1, 2003

2 Min Read
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IP storage processor startup Trebia Networks Inc. has booted out president and CEO Bob Conrad and VP of engineering Willie Anderson, industry sources tell Byte and Switch.

The company's investors apparently stepped in after a dispute with Trebia's top management, according to a source familiar with the situation. "The investment team was starting to get concerned over the burn rate," says our source. He adds that there also may have been a disagreement over the strategic direction of the company. "It seems there was an issue in terms of what the other folks thought was going to be viable versus what [Anderson] wanted to do."

Trebia, which was incorporated in July 2000, has raised $40 million from investors including Allianz of America Inc., Atlas Venture, BancBoston Ventures, Deutsche Banc Alex Brown LLC, Kodiak Venture Partners, Raza Foundries, and VantagePoint Venture Partners (see Trebia's $40M Secret).

Trebia representatives did not respond to requests for comment. Conrad and Anderson did not return phone calls or emails.

The Acton, Mass., company has developed a series of processors, which it debuted in October 2002, designed to offload TCP processing tasks from host servers. The chips -- known as TCP Offload Engines (TOEs) in the industry -- had evidently received some interest from LSI Logic Corp.'s (NYSE: LSI) host bus adapter group and McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA) (see Vendors Chip Into IP Storage and iSCSI's Big Bang?).The management turmoil at Trebia comes as iSCSI, the protocol for sending SCSI storage traffic over TCP/IP, is officially ratified by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) after a three-year process (see iSCSI Gets Go-Ahead).

Before joining Trebia, Conrad was VP and general manager of the DSP (digital signal processing) business at Analog Devices Inc. (NYSE: ADI). Prior to that, he spent 12 years at Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN).

Anderson was also previously with Analog Devices, where he worked with Conrad as the director of DSP development for the company's joint development with Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC). Prior to that, he was an engineer in Motorola Inc.'s (NYSE: MOT) Wireless Systems Center and RISC Division.

Todd Spangler, US Editor, Byte and Switch

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