Veritas Loses CTO - Again

History repeats itself as Fred van den Bosch heads for startup and Mark Bregman takes over

March 10, 2004

3 Min Read
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For the second time in four years, the CTO of Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) is leaving for a startup, and his job's migrating to a colleague. This time, though, it looks as if he won't be replaced -- not exactly, that is.

Fred van den Bosch, the executive VP of Veritas's Advanced Technology Group, as well as CTO, will leave the company by the end of April 2004 in order to head up his own company. His responsibilities will be taken over by Mark Bregman, the executive VP of product operations (see Veritas Adds Executive Sales VP). Veritas spokesman Andrew McCarthy says there's no plan to hire a CTO. Anything Bosch was doing becomes part of Bregman's job description.

We've been here before. Back in September 2002, Paul Borrill, a CTO who'd been with the company since 1999, took a powder to start his own company, leaving Bregman and Bosch in charge (see Exitus Veritas Replicus). By October 2002, Bosch was officially the CTO, though the move wasn't announced by the company.

Bosch's departure marks the latest in a long string of executive changes over the last four years, since Gary Bloom took over as CEO in November 2000. "Gary Bloom's management style differs from that of Mark Leslie, the prior CEO," writes Tom Curlin, director of equity research at RBC Capital Markets, in an email today. "Consequently, most of the leadership team from Leslie's tenure already has departed." Bosch's defection had been expected for months, Curlin notes.

Indeed, the surprise may be that he lasted so long once his old boss left. Then again, he's been a key force at the company for years, as well as one of its highest-paid execs, with more than $700,000 in salary and bonus in 2002. Educated as a mathematician in the Netherlands, he joined Veritas in 1990 after working for twenty years at Philips Computer Systems, and he began serving on the board of directors in 1996. He will remain on the board.Before becoming CTO, Bosch was executive VP of product operations -- until Bregman joined Veritas in February 2002. After that, Bregman, part of Bloom's new team, was given the job. In fact, Bregman, formerly of IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Airmedia, a wireless technology firm, was generally thought to be in charge of technology direction at Veritas (see Mark Bregman, EVP of Product Operations, Veritas Software).

Now, it looks as if Bregman's finally alone at the top of product planning at Veritas. Bosch is on his way to startup-land, though queries on specifics have met with no reply.

Veritas isn't alone in its management machinations. The storage networking market is heating up, giving many a company exec the itch to be king or queen of his or her own startup castle (see Cisco Storage VP Heads for ONStor, Former Brocade Exec Joins Voltaire, and Former EMC Exec Joins Sepaton). At the same time, established players view product planning as the key to future sales, putting enormous pressure on execs in top spots.

There's also the predictable wish of chief executives to surround themselves with a hand-picked group -- which extends to consolidating leadership when someone like Bosch leaves. As Tom Curlin states, "In fairness to Bloom, he has every right to build his own team."

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch0

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