OpenDrives replaces CEO to refocus on core M&E business

Media and entertainment software-defined storage specialist OpenDrives has appointed Sean Lee as its new chief executive officer. He replaces Izhar Sharon, who was originally appointed CEO in December 2022 to help break OpenDrives out of its M&E business niche, a strategy that now seems to have been reversed.

Los Angeles-headquartered OpenDrives provides media workflow solutions and storage management services. Founded in 2011 by M&E post-production professionals and technologists, OpenDrives is powered by its core Atlas software, which is deployed on-premises and into the cloud.

Sean Lee

Lee most recently served as the company’s chief strategy and operations officer, and has held leadership positions with OpenDrives since 2015. Lee was also once an OpenDrives customer, having served 15 years at Universal Studios, where he implemented efficient processes and improved workflows – something OpenDrives aims to deliver with its solutions.

As CEO of OpenDrives, Lee will “continue to leverage his experience as a customer to develop and deliver solutions that empower content creators and drive the future of M&E,” said the company.

Of Sharon’s departure, OpenDrives told Blocks & Files: “Izhar joined OpenDrives to lead the technical strategy and help move us outside of the M&E space. What’s become clear to the board is that OpenDrives’ origins is its path forward – it was founded by technologists like Sean from the industry, and innovates solutions FOR the industry.

“With Sean’s deep understanding of the M&E space, and his customer-centric approach, he’s the right individual to drive OpenDrives’ next phase.”

OpenDrives’ investors obviously want the company to re-focus on M&E. Joel Whitley, partner at IAG Capital Partners, said in a prepared statement: “Sean’s deep industry experience and charismatic outlook make him precisely what OpenDrives needs to remain focused on the M&E sector, as well as any business with content workflows.

“We are confident that he will build on this strong foundation to propel the business forward to break new ground in empowering storytellers and creatives worldwide.”

On his departure, in a LinkedIn post, Sharon said: “After a couple of great years at OpenDrives, building a foundation for the future, I am working on my next adventure. Best of luck to Sean Lee and team!”

OpenDrives recently unveiled its updated Atlas storage platform, built around a composable software architecture, which is complemented with an unlimited capacity business model.

Lee said: “We are committed to driving innovation and challenging the status quo, so that the M&E industry can continue to push boundaries and tell immersive stories that engage, inform and delight audiences everywhere on any platform.”