Violin Memory COO quits two weeks after CEO ousted

Violin is still searching for new leadership

Flash storage specialist Violin Memory has lost another senior executive: COO Dixon R. Doll Jr. has resigned.

The company makes flash storage arrays that it says can speed computing operations in data centers and cloud infrastructure, and is facing tougher competition from storage giants such as EMC and even former Violin distributor Hewlett-Packard as flash storage becomes increasingly commoditized.

Doll's departure comes two weeks after Violin's board ousted CEO Donald Basile as its stock tumbled after its September IPO, saying it thought the leadership change "necessary to enhance the management team's operational focus and ability to execute the company's plans for profitable growth." On Dec. 16 board Chairman Howard Bain took over as interim CEO while the company searches for a replacement for Basile.

Doll's departure appears less acrimonious. He is stepping down with immediate effect "to pursue other personal and professional interests," the company said Thursday. In a statement, Bain thanked Doll for his contributions to the company over the past four years, and for his role in building the current team.

The same statement also quoted Doll saying he felt now was an appropriate time to let new leadership chart the company's course.

Investors certainly believe that course needs recharting. Violin's IPO in September, priced at US$9 a share, raised around $146 million for the company. However, the share price dropped 22 percent on the first day of trading, closing at $7.02.

It fell again from $6 to $3.11 on Nov. 22, the day after the company announced its third-quarter results, reaching a low of $2.56 just days before Basile's ousting. In the days following his departure it climbed back up to almost $4.

The company has enough capital to continue operations for at least 12 months, it said in its latest quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It reported a third-quarter net loss of $34.1 million on revenue of $28.3 million. A year earlier, it had reported a loss of $25.4 million on revenue of $20.6 million.

The poor third-quarter performance has attracted a class-action lawsuit alleging securities fraud. Law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro has filed suit against the company, and is inviting investors to join the class action before a court deadline of Jan. 27.

Violin representatives did not respond to questions about the company's progress in its search for a new CEO, nor its plans to replace Doll.

There's no indication from Doll of what he plans next. He has already updated his LinkedIn profile to indicate his departure from Violin. The remaining current activity he lists on the profile is a directorship of BizzBlizz, a Violin customer co-founded by Basile and another Violin alumnus, Carlos "Art" Nevarez. Basile has not yet updated his profile on the business networking site to include his departure from Violin.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuespersonnelserversstoragehardware systemsViolin Memory

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?