Hyper-Converged Startup SimpliVity Parts Ways With Top Sales Exec, CEO Taking Over His Role

SimpliVity has parted ways with its global sales chief as part of a management shuffle aimed at getting the hyper-converged infrastructure startup ready for an initial public offering.

Mitch Breen, senior vice president of global sales, has left and is now "exploring other opportunities," SimpliVity CEO Doron Kempel confirmed to CRN in an interview Thursday.

"I want to thank Mitch Breen for his extraordinary accomplishments with SimpliVity," Kempel told CRN in an interview. "With Mitch, we expanded our business to over 60 countries. Mitch remains a friend and a shareholder."

[Related: SimpliVity Lands $175M Series D, Sets Sights On Midmarket Customers]

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Kempel is taking over Breen's duties on a permanent basis, and he said SimpliVity has made a couple of key hires recently that will enable him to focus more on the global sales chief role.

Jose Almandoz, former CIO at Novell, joined SimpliVity earlier this month as senior vice president of "planning and into action," a role focused on company operations, said Kempel. Randi Nichols, a veteran human resources executive, joined SimpliVity last month as vice president of human resources.

"We're adding significant weight to the company in the back office. This frees me to add more attention to go-to-market. So I am now head of global sales. This centralizes the synchronization of all field operations in the field," Kempel said.

Breen, who began his career at EMC and spent more than 26 years there, joined SimpliVity in January 2014 along with former EMC colleague George Hope. He wasn't immediately available for comment.

SimpliVity is widely viewed as the No. 2 player behind Nutanix in hyper-converged infrastructure, which typically refers to compute, storage and virtualization running on commodity x86 server hardware.

Several SimpliVity partners that CRN contacted Thursday said they weren't aware of the management changes. One partner told CRN he's bullish on SimpliVity's future no matter who is handling sales.

"Doron Kempel runs a tight ship. SimpliVity is doing very well from my point of view. I have had great success thus far selling and implementing SimpliVity," said the partner, who didn't wanted to be named because he's not authorized to talk about internal company matters.

SimpliVity -- which landed $175 million in Series D funding in March and now has a $1 billion-plus valuation -- is making these moves with an eye on expanding its business, according to Kempel.

Last September, SimpliVity inked a partnership with Cisco Systems to sell its OmniStack software and proprietary hardware card with UCS servers.

"As the company prepares for 2016, and much larger stakes with our Cisco partnership and beyond, we decided to enhance our internal architecture for future opportunities including a potential IPO," Kempel told CRN.