HP Vertica Continues Losing Top Talent To Big Data Startups

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Vertica's talent exodus began in March when Vertica CEO Chris Lynch left HP to become a partner at Atlas Venture, a Cambridge, Mass.-based venture capital firm.

In May, Vertica CTO Dan Holle left HP to take the CTO position at Greenplum, a division of EMC.

There is also a well-worn path from Vertica to Cloudant, a Cambridge, Mass.-based startup founded in 2008 by three MIT physicists. Derek Schoettle, former vice president of communications, media and entertainment at Vertica, left in November to become CEO of Cloudant. Rob O'Brien, a former field engineer at Vertica, is now vice president of customer service at Cloudant. Andy Ellicott, vice president of marketing at Cloudant, was senior marketing director at Vertica from 2006 to 2009.

HP last November established Vertica and Autonomy as the cornerstones of its Information Management business unit, but that plan lasted all of four months.

In March, HP moved Vertica into its Software division, which at the time was led by Bill Veghte, executive vice president and chief strategy officer. In May, HP moved Veghte to COO and hired George Kadifa, venture capitalist and former CEO of application service provider Corio, to run the Software division.

Vertica was supposed to be a channel play, but at this point it is tough to find HP partners that sell it. HP is telling partners they will be able to resell Vertica products starting Dec. 1, but HP did not respond to a request for confirmation.

In the meantime, the lack of communication from HP on Vertica, combined with the constant leadership changes, has caused at least one HP partner to shift their sales focus to competing big data analytics products.

"We were paying attention to Vertica for a while because it looked like a fit with our big data initiatives," said the source, who requested anonymity. "But since Vertica was put into the same group with Autonomy, they have been completely off the radar. We're not even looking at those products."


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