Managed services News

Axcient Taps Former Barracuda Networks Exec As New CEO

Joseph F. Kovar

‘Really what I’m focused on: how do we scale the company up and accelerate our growth in 2023. So I’m going to spend the rest of this year—we’re basically 90 days until the end of the fiscal year—essentially doing a listening tour, talking to partners, talking to employees, talking to folks in the industry,’ says Axcient President and CEO Rod Mathews.

Axcient, the Denver-based provider of data protection and business continuity technology aimed squarely at MSPs, has a new leader. Rod Mathews, the former general manager for the data protection business of Barracuda Networks, started Monday as Axcient’s new president and CEO.

Mathews takes over the reins at Axcient from David Bennett, who left the company this summer to become president of Object First, a startup developer of purpose-build data protection appliances that just exited stealth mode.

Mathews, in what he called his first meeting with anyone from outside Axcient since he took his new role, told CRN that helping Axcient scale its operations to make it easier to on-board MSPs and their customers is key to the kind of growth he and the company’s board of directors are expecting.

[Related: 2022 Storage 100: Who’s Got Your Backup?]

“As we add more partners, as we add more customers, our ability to go out and find new partners, our ability to onboard the new partners that we have, our ability to help them onboard their new customers, our ability to provide the capacity and the performance that those customers need, needs to grow,” he said. “We need to be the last line of defense for these customers if they have a malicious deletion of data, accidental deletion, malware, they get attacked by ransomware, or whatever the case is.”

Mathews also said he understands the importance of keeping Axcient’s focus squarely on its growing MSP base. At Barracuda, a big part of his role was being the MSP champion at the company after that company’s 2015 acquisition of Intronis which brought it a huge MSP business.

“We are absolutely going to be focused on MSPs going forward,” he said. “I think as MSPs look to buy through different channels, we may have other things to support those MSPs from a channel perspective, but MSPs are our focus. And I think that‘s where the market is going for the size customers that we sell to.”

For an in-depth look at how Axcient will change—and how much will remain the same—under new CEO Mathews, click through the slideshow.

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at

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