SimpliVity Pirates Oracle Sales Exec

Posted: Jan 29 2014, 5:33pm CST | by , Updated: Jan 29 2014, 5:36pm CST, in News | Technology News

SimpliVity Pirates Oracle Sales Exec
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Just as huge companies suffer in growth comparison due to the law of large numbers, startups issue somewhat hollow-sounding brags by tapping the law of small numbers. For example, if a startup had $500,000 in 2012 sales and ended 2013 with $2 million in revenue, it will boast of its 300% growth and cite confidentiality for not mentioning the dollar figure.

This makes it difficult to get too excited about those gigantic-sounding growth figures. So how can you tell whether a startup is doing well? One way is to look at how much money investors are pouring into the venture.

Another is to look at whether high-powered talent from big companies is willing to give up a big salary to join the startup.

And by those measures, Westborough, Mass.-based SimpliVity — maker of an all-in-one appliance that combines the work of eight to 12 different devices — looks like it’s on a roll. On January 29, SimpliVity announced that it had hired Mitch Breen as its Senior Vice President of Global Sales.

Breen made his bones at EMC and was most recently Oracle’s Senior Vice President of Infrastructure Sales for North America — selling its server, storage, engineered systems and networking products.

In a January 29 interview Breen explained that he spent 26 years at EMC and grew along with the company. “I started as a sales rep when EMC had $60 million in sales and took on increasing responsibility as it grew to $22 billion. I moved from sales into leadership posts including Senior Vice President of Mid-range Storage and Senior Vice President of Global Channel Sales, and helped develop the go-to-market strategies for EMC acquisitions like Isilon and Data Domain.”

Why would someone with that sales track record walk away from the high salary and potential stock option cash that a company like Oracle provides? Breen said, “I have a wife and three teenage daughters and they are partners when I make career decisions. I explained to them that I have seen an enormous demand among my customers to do more with less.”

Moreover, Breen sees SimpliVity as taking a dominant position in this big opportunity area. ”I have known Doron for a long time and I see an enormous market for a data center in a box. SimpliVity has the potential to be a category leader. Under his leadership, the math [in my decision to join SimpliVity] will work out in the short term. And it will be a financially rewarding and professionally fulfilling journey,” noted Breen.

Breen envisions developing SimpliVity’s marketing channel through direct sales and value-added reseller marketing. “I will bring my experience hiring recruiting and enabling a motivated, loyal, and self-sufficient partner ecosystem. I also have a network of sales people with experience selling to the largest companies.”

SimpliVity expects enormous revenue growth in 2014. As CEO Doron Kempel explained in November 2013 interview, “Between 2013 and 2014 our revenue will be up 5x and our headcount will rise by 3x — adding people in engineering, service, and sales.”

One recent customer is the largest milk marketing organization in the Northeast, Dairylea, that decided to purchase six SimpliVity Omnicubes “in 17 days” according to Kempel. As he explained, “Dairylea was planning to do a tech refresh of its servers, data protection, and storage. Our partner told Dairylea that it should consider the Omnicube but they did not believe it was possible to combine all three into one device. But after they spoke with our customers, they decided to buy our systems and get rid of everything else.”

Investors have been scrambling to get a piece of SimpliVity — it has raised $101 million so far. According to Kempel, “Our target for the Series C was to raise between $40 million and $50 million. Our over-subscribed Series C round ended up raising $58 million — co-led by Kleiner Perkins Growth and Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) Growth.” SimpliVity raised $18 million in its Series A round and another $25 million in its Series B.

Can Breen help SimpliVity to grow enough to deliver a big payday to its investors? Kempel believes so. “It is impossible to hire the Mitches of the world who can move billions of dollars in product and get large paychecks and options. His industry expertise and leadership experience will be instrumental in driving new growth for SimpliVity and our partners. We are thrilled he has chosen to join SimpliVity,” he said.

And if SimpliVity’s revenues get close to the $100 million needed for it to go public, perhaps the company will describe its growth in dollar, rather than percentage terms.

Source: Forbes

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