Datera CEO Guy Churchward resigns: ‘Natural time to move on’

Datera CEO and exec chairman Guy Churchward has resigned, citing health reasons. His colleague chief Product Officer Narasimha Valiveti – known as ‘VNR’ – has left the company to join Oracle.

Guy Churchward

Churchward told us: “I watched how the pandemic has really impacting our industry (not the marketing fluff) and felt it was a natural time to move on for my own personal health and well being.”

He suffered two heart attacks in May 2019 during surgery to insert three stents into  his arteries. He is looking at a few opportunities but is taking time out, for now. 

Valiveti has joined Oracle as its VP Storage at the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure business unit. Churchward said: “He got pursued for a cracking opportunity and I am totally thrilled for him as it’s well deserved and Oracle have done well there.”

Churchward revealed: “VNR and I had a spit handshake agreement to see our tour of duty through the 2020 fiscal.” Datera has been enjoying continued growth; “Key metrics for success were again all up and to the right so I feel good about that.”

Datera’s President and Chief Revenue Officer Flavio Santoni tells us: “Guy had a prior agreement with the board to step back at the end of 2020. Our lead investor stepped in as interim CEO to work through the next few moves.” Santoni did not say who that was.

The lead investor is Khosla Ventures  and Brian Byun, a venture partner at Khosla, may be the interim CEO. He has been identified as a Datera board member by Crunchbase and ZoomInfo.

Datera provides high-end scale-out virtual SAN storage software which tiers data across a range of media from Optane to disk drives. It supports physical, virtual and containerised hosts  and is supplied to customers through deals with semi-OEM HPE and OEM Fujitsu and other channel partners. Datera’s Data Services Platform software also supports the S3 object access protocol.

Datera was founded in 2013 and the company has taken in $63.9m in funding, including a $26m C-round in September 2018. Board member Guy Churchward was appointed CEO in December 2018, replacing co-founder Marc Fleishmann who is now the CTO in VMware’s Cloud Platform business unit.