DeRocker was inspired to retire in large part by the death of a friend, a former Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), with whom he worked for about 20 years.
"He didn't smoke, didn't drink, he had no diseases," he said. "He was younger than I was. But he came down with stomach cancer a year ago. It ate him up from the inside-out. It got me thinking. I have four young boys. I'm not in tennis-ball-walker mode. I don't have cancer. But at that point, I thought about what would happen if it happened to me."
DeRocker officially retired internally early last month, and spends time consulting with Stratos during its transition period. He said it is good to be at home.
While DeRocker grows his relationship with his sons, he expects Stratos to continue growing its business.
"The international business will continue growing," he said. "It took time to develop. But once the wheel turned, there was no stopping it. We're already doing NetApp deals in Poland."
PUBLISHED SEPT. 5, 2013