Calisi Out At Overland Storage

Company Chairman Scott McClendon took over the president and CEO spots on Thursday in the wake of the departure of the San Diego-based company's previous president and CEO, Christopher Calisi.

McClendon served as Overland's president and CEO from 1991 to 2001, when Calisi took over.

The change in leadership was welcomed by solution providers who have seen Overland, acknowledged by its channel partners as one of the industry's most channel-focused vendors, stumble in the past year.

The tape automation and disk-based backup company last year saw the beginning of a winding down of its longtime OEM business with Hewlett-Packard, and just last month said that a long-expected OEM deal with Dell was canceled before the first products shipped..

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Overland also moved its manufacturing to an outsourced supplier, but this summer brought it back in-house due to difficulties with the process.

Late last year, another tape library vendor, ADIC, tried and failed to acquire Overland. ADIC was later acquired by Quantum.

John Zammet, president of HorizonTek, a Huntington, N.Y.-based solution provider, called the leadership change a good thing. "This will help get them back on track," he said. "It should get them back to promoting products the market is looking for."

Zammet also hopes the change will result in a new OEM contract for Overland's products. "We need them to reestablish OEM relationships so there's an economy of scale to let us sell the branded products as a good price."

Zammet said that Overland, which with Quantum is one of two vendors with a strong tape and disk-to-disk backup product line, is the perfect candidate for someone to come in and take private, a move is credited in part for Seagate's success.

"Overland has no sex appeal with Wall Street," Zammet said. "It's seen as a tape company. But it has a real solid product line."

Greg Knieriemen, vice president of marketing at Cleveland-based Chi, praised McClendon as a key driver in bringing tape automation to prominence during his earlier tenure as president and CEO of Overland.

"With his history and background and success with Overland in the past, his return is a positive thing for the channel."

Knieriemen called the change in leadership a turnaround point for Overland. "I see nothing but upside for the company," he said.

In addition to the departure of Calisi, Overland's Board of Directors appointed Mark Barrenechea, a company director, to be the chairman of the standing special committee on shareholder value, a position that McClendon had held since the committee was founded last year when Overland was approached by ADIC with an offer to be acquired.

Barrenechea in June joined the venture buyout firm Garnett and Helfrich Capital as a director. He was previously an executive at CA and Oracle.

An Overland spokesperson said that no one should assume that the appointment of Barrenechea to the committee means the company is necessarily exploring acquisition possibilities.