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Veeam Co-Founders Plan To Leave After $5B Insight Partners Deal

Co-founders Baranov and Timashev will stay to help transition Veeam over to Insight Partners after the private equity firm acquires the data management and data protection vendor in a $5 billion deal and focuses the company on the U.S. market.

Veeam's co-founders are planning to leave the company after helping transition the Baar, Switzerland-based data management and data protection software vendor to become part of the portfolio of New York-based private equity company Insight Partners.

Insight Partners on Thursday said it will acquire Veeam in a deal valued at about $5 billion.

This is already the second big acquisition for Insight Partners in only the first nine days of 2020 after Insight said it plans to acquire IoT security startup Armis at a $1.1-billion valuation.

[Related: Veeam CEO Ratmir Timashev On Selling N2WS And Pushing AWS, Azure Backup Leadership]

Andrei Baronov, co-founder and CEO, and Ratmir Timashev (pictured), executive vice president of worldwide sales and market, will both step down from their current executive roles and from the board of directors after helping transition Veeam to Insight Partners and its new leadership, Insight Partners said Thursday.

Going forward, William Largent, who has served as Veeam's executive vice president of operations, will become the company's new CEO.

Veeam and Insight Partners both told CRN that the acquisition will help drive Veeam's next stage of growth. Baronov and Timashev were raised and educated in Moscow and founded Veeam in Switzerland. The company has since become the leading data management and data protection vendor in Europe, but is only the fourth-largest vendor in the U.S.

Timashev late last year told CRN that Veeam's growth path is focused on three big markets: Office 365, AWS backup, and Microsoft Azure backups. "Each of these markets will become, for us, maybe half-a-billion-dollar opportunities in the next five years," he said.

To get that kind of growth, however, requires a solid U.S. presence, said Danny Allan, Veeam's new chief technology officer.

Allen told CRN that Veeam was founded about the time of the 2008 U.S. financial crash, with the bulk of the investment focused on Europe because of the U.S. financial turmoil. That has led to Veeam having a bigger business revenue-wise in Europe than in the U.S.

"And that's the opposite of most large technology companies," he said. "Usually it's the other way around. There's more large global companies headquartered in the U.S. So we think there's a massive opportunity with the enterprise in the U.S."

News of Baronov's and Timashev's plans to exit Veeam caught Veeam's channel partners by surprise. However, one partner said that while the executives have done well in growing Veeam, the new U.S. focus could boost the company's channel business.

Steve Johnson, president and CEO of Corus360, an Atlanta-based solution provider and Veeam channel partner, told CRN that his company was an early adopter of Veeam and has built its managed services business around Veeam Cloud Connect.

"That allows me to enable customers to use the Veeam platform to back up their data to my secure data center," Johnson said.

Johnson said it will be sad to see Veeam's co-founders, especially Timashev, leave the company.

"But it could t a great thing," he said. "We have been trying to get Veeam in to our enterprise customers. Maybe the new U.S. focus will help."

Johnson said he sits on Veeam's partner council, and has found Timashev to be not only knowledgeable about the storage market but also deeply concerned about how channel partners are faring.

"Ratmir's always at the council meetings," he said. "He really understands the channel. He's a great guy. He answers our questions, and he listens to us. Whenever we at the council have a question or concern, he always responds. Veeam is a channel company. And that channel commitment starts at the top."

Johnson said he plans to keep an eye on Timashev.

"I'd love to see Ratmir start a new disruptive company and let me be his first partner in the southeast," he said. "He's one of those guys you tend to follow after they build great channel companies. They always have the 'what's next' in the back of their minds."

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