Future imperfect – Nyriad changes CEO as Future of Storage event loses momentum

Startup Nyriad, which was going to hold a Future of Storage event this month for its combined CPU+GPU storage controller product, has changed its CEO instead, sixteen months after appointing him.

Back in November Nyriad had $28 million pumped in by investors following a CEO change in October 2020. At that time lead investor and chairman of the board, Guy Haddleton, in place since March 2019, saw Herb Hunt appointed CEO. Hunt migrated the company HQ from New Zealand to the USA, recruited new sales and marketing execs, and oversaw the development – or rather redevelopment – of its first product: the combined CPU/GPU storage controller.

The GPUs replace RAID controller functions and bring parallel processing techniques to things like erasure coding, encryption and data I/O, increasing bandwidth and data durability. An x86 CPU controls the whole show while the GPUs carry out computational storage functions, and NVMe SSDs provide a fast hardware storage base. All this would enable more storage capacity and faster access to more data. That, in principle, makes the Nyriad controller a good fit for a world of increasing unstructured data needing fast ingest and real-time analytics.

Now Huddlestone relinquishes the chairmanship and Herb Hunt moves upstairs from the CEO’s office to become exec chairman of the board, thus guiding the reins of incoming CEO Derek Dicker who takes over on March 1.

Derek Dicker.

Dicker is an independent Nyriad board member who has not been a CEO before. His most senior previous position was corporate VP and GM of Micron’s Storage Business Unit. We are told he has more than 25 years of industry experience leading organisations that span pre-revenue “intrapreneurial” startups to multi-billion-dollar businesses. In other words he is not an entrepreneur.

We had been told the Future of Storage event would take place this month. That looks to be unlikely now that there’s only one working day left in the month. The future has likely been delayed, and the reasons for Hunt’s move upstairs and Huddlestone’s  board chair role exit have not been revealed. None of this gives an impression that the company knows what it is doing.