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Carbonite After Mohamad Ali: Firm Searches For New CEO While Absorbing Webroot

Chairman Steve Munford, who is serving as interim CEO while he leads the search for a permanent CEO, will also continue to work with Carbonite's executives, including new Chief Revenue Officer Craig Stilwell, on integrating its acquisition of Webroot.

Cloud data protection and security vendor Carbonite is now in the process of looking for a new CEO to replace Mohamad Ali, who this week left the company to pursue a new opportunity as CEO of the International Data Group, the Framingham, Mass.-based IT industry analyst firm.

Leading the charge to replace Ali is Carbonite Chairman Steve Munford, who took over as interim CEO and executive chairman of the Boston-based company.

The change in executive leadership comes at a busy time for Carbonite, which not only just reported mixed results for its second fiscal quarter 2019, but is also going through a huge change as it integrates its acquisition of cloud-based cybersecurity technology developer Webroot.

[Related: Carbonite CEO Ali Steps Down To Join IDG]

Ali held the reins at Carbonite for over four-and-a-half years, but decided to leave the company to pursue a great new opportunity, said Norman Guadagno, senior vice president of marketing for the company.

"It's a natural evolution that takes place in businesses all the time," Guadagno told CRN. Mohamad has chosen to take a new phase in his career. And we're happy for him."

Ali actually tendered his resignation on Monday, he said.

Munford brings a wealth of executive experience to his new interim CEO role, having served as Carbonite's chairman of the board for over five-and-a-half years. He currently serves on the board of directors at several other IT companies, and is chairman of Stockholm, Sweden-based Apica Systems. Munford in 2018 also served as Vancouver, B.C.-based Absolute Software interim CEO, and was previously CEO of Oxford, U.K.-based Sophos.

However, Guadagno said, Munford is not planning to take on a permanent role as Carbonite's CEO.

"Steve has made it clear he's not a candidate for full-time CEO," he said. "But he is committed to helping the company succeed. He is also helping with the search for a new CEO, and he is remaining as executive chairman. He and the board committee will drive the search for a permanent CEO. Steve is also committed to working with the team to orchestrate and accelerate the integration of the Webroot acquisition."

Carbonite, under Ali, made a number of acquisitions. The biggest was the $618.5-million acquisition of cloud-based cybersecurity technology developer Webroot early this year. He also oversaw last year's $146-million acquisition of rival cloud storage provider Mozy from Dell Technologies.

Ali, during his time at Carbonite, led the company through difficult times, said Ed Tatsch, president of ETS Networks, an Arden, N.C.-based MSP and partner to both Carbonite and Webroot.

"Under Ali, however, Carbonite came out smelling like roses in the end," Tatsch told CRN. "The Carbonite web interface used to be funny, and support was not good for a while. But now the interface is where we need it, and support is good."

Tatsch said he hopes to see Carbonite under its new CEO have a focus on artificial intelligence that allows easy adoption of new technologies now and in the future.

"I want them to use A.I. to take advantage of both Carbonite and Webroot technology and combine them in a way that works for MSPs," he said. "Carbonite didn't have a lot of success with MSPs, but Webroot did. Carbonite will hopefully become more geared towards MSPs."  

Carbonite has already laid out a thoughtful integration plan for Webroot, the acquisition of which was closed in March, Guadagno said.

"This is not something that gets done overnight," he said. "We're looking at synergies, especially cross-selling and up-selling between the customers of the two. We've been testing how different customers react."

A big focus of the integration between the two is at the endpoint, where security can be tied closely to data protection, Guadagno said. The integration at the server is also being looked at as well, he said.

To help with the integration, Carbonite on July 1 said it hired Craig Stilwell to be the company's chief revenue officer, a new position for Carbonite. "Stilwell is focused on the integration of sales and marketing across the entire business," he said.

Carbonite on Thursday reported that its second fiscal quarter 2019 revenue rose 56 percent over that of the second fiscal quarter 2018 to $121.5 million on a GAAP basis, or up 69 percent to $135.0 million on a non-GAAP basis.

However, the company reported a net loss for the quarter of $11.3 million, or 33 cents per share, on a GAAP basis, compared to last year's net loss of $5.7 million, or 20 cents per share. On a non-GAAP basis, he company reported net loss per share of 58 cents compared to last year's 50 cents.

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