Nimble Storage Taps Former EMC, NetApp Exec Iventosch As New Channel Chief

Nimble Storage, the subject of acquisition rumors for the past few months, is beefing up its channel ranks with the hiring of longtime storage industry executive Leonard Iventosch.

Iventosch, who joined Nimble Storage last week as vice president of worldwide channels, is a popular channel figure who previously spent nearly five years at EMC and eight years at NetApp.

At Nimble Storage, Iventosch will be tasked with getting partners selling and evangelizing the San Jose, Calif.-based vendor's hybrid flash storage array offerings.

[Related: Nimble Storage Targets Enterprise With Ability To 'Pin' Apps In All-Flash Storage]

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Iventosch told CRN in an interview Monday he believes Nimble Storage has a big opportunity to boost its profile in the enterprise market.

"We've done a spectacular job of building a business in the midmarket, and we've got some impressive enterprise [customers]. But the bigger opportunity is to go deeper into the enterprise," Iventosch said.

Nimble Storage is attacking this market segment with marketing and by "hiring world class enterprise sales reps" and enterprise partners, said Iventosch.

"I think we have a lot of great national VARs," Iventosch said. "But we want to be their go-to partner, where significant elements of their business plans are built around our technology."

One Nimble Storage partner who has worked with Iventosch in the past is bullish on his appointment.

"Leonard is a guy who people know and trust," said Donnie Downs, CEO of Plan B Technologies, a Bowie, Md.-based Nimble Storage partner. "Even if I wasn't already a Nimble reseller, I'd take a look at them just because he's there. That's the kind of power he brings to the table."

Nimble, in a bid to attract enterprise customers, recently added software-based encryption and began offering customers an all-flash service level for apps that run on the non-flash part of its platform.

Nimble Storage had a successful IPO in December 2013, with shares jumping more than 60 percent in their first day of trading. Its shares hit a high of $52.74 last February, but have traded largely flat since then and closed Monday at $27.16.

Wall Street analysts in recent months have tagged Nimble Storage as a possible acquisition target for Cisco Systems, EMC, Hewlett-Packard and NetApp, among others.

Iventosch left EMC in December 2013 and took some time off. He joined Seattle-based data analytics firm ExtraHop in January of this year, but left in May, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Meanwhile, Mike Munoz, vice president of sales at Nimble Storage from 2010 until taking a leave of absence last November, has returned as vice president of worldwide alliances. Both he and Iventosch report to Denis Murphy, vice president of worldwide sales, who joined Nimble Storage in May.