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Tom Alexander, CEO, Intransa

Nobody envied Tom Alexander when he took over as Intransas CEO last July. (See Intransa Trades In CEO.)

In the months leading to Alexander’s replacing Avi Katz as CEO, the IP SAN startup had undergone an executive exodus that included the loss of founder and CTO Peter Wang, not to mention the CFO and VPs of engineering, global operations, and marketing. (See Intransa's in Transition and Ex-Intransa Trio Aids Startups.) The revolving door lent credence to talk that the startup was rapidly burning thorough the $25 million in funding it secured in August 2004.

To make matters worse, the company’s influential chairman Eric Benhamou departed soon after hiring Alexander.

The departures also came at a sensitive time. iSCSI was beginning to win acceptance in SANs, but established Fibre Channel players were getting into the game. And rival startups EqualLogic and LeftHand Networks were claiming significant customer gains.

But Alexander isn't one to shrink from a challenge. In his view, the timing was good when he came in. “I was probably lucky to come into this company at the right time,” he says. “Two years ago, I don’t think the market was ready for IP SANs.”

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