Commvault gives way to Starboard, shakes up board

Commvault has yielded to Starboard Value by appointing three new members to the board. The data management vendor has also set up a new operating committee.

Starboard Value announced in March that it held 9.3 per cent of Commvault stock. In April it told Commvault it wanted six proxy directors on they board. Commvault accepted one of Starboard’s picks – Todd Bradley, CEO of Mozido. Presumably, they both agreed about the other new members; Alison Pickens, formerly COO of Gainsight, and Arlen Shenken, Citrix CFO.

The new directors replace three long-standing members of the 11-strong board; co-founder Al Bunte, Frank Fanzilli and Daniel Pulver.

Jeff Smith, Starboard CEO, said in a canned statement: “We appreciate the collaborative dialogue we have had with Commvault’s Board and leadership team. Commvault is an outstanding company. We believe the expertise provided by these new directors and the focus of the Board’s Operating Committee will help improve Commvault’s profitable growth, return on investment, and enhance value creation.”

Commvault chairman Nick Adamo also issued a quote: “We are pleased to add three highly qualified directors who bring both targeted experience and diversity to the Board.”

Operating committee

Bradley, Schenkman and existing director Charles Moran sit on a new operating committee that will oversee Commvault’s budgeting process and work with management to establish margin targets and a balanced capital allocation policy no later than December 31, 2020.

Adamo said: “We … expect the new Operating Committee to build on the progress Sanjay Mirchandani has made since being appointed CEO, including important changes to our operating priorities, improvements to our go-to-market strategy and investments in Commvault’s technology differentiation.”

Commvault is migrating from its traditional on-premises soultion sales to a subscription based cloud-centric model. But progress has been slow. In response to faltering revenue growth it appointed a new CEO, Sanjay Mirchandani, in February last year. Three financial quarters later and it had not returned to growth, hence Starboard’s interest in shaking up the company.