Time to address the geopolitical elephant in the room: Veeam Software, which was acquired today by Insight Partners, wants to accelerate its business where Kaspersky has struggled -- namely, in the United States.
The chatter goes something like this: Both software companies were started by Russian entrepreneurs. In the current geopolitical climate, the United States government sometimes frowns upon Russian technology entrepreneurs, and occasionally wonders if such entrepreneurs are working with or for Russia's government.
The situation is especially touchy in the cybersecurity and data protection markets. The U.S. government has barred Kaspersky from U.S. federal networks -- alleging the cybersecurity firm has ties to Russia's government. Kaspersky has repeatedly denied the claims, relocated its data processing to Switzerland, and launched a transparency push in a bid to address U.S. concerns.
Still, the U.S. government's stance has pressured Kaspersky's cybersecurity and endpoint protection business. For 2018, company revenue grew 4 percent overall — but sales in North America decreased 25 percent that year.
Veeam, Insight Partners Take Proactive Steps
Meanwhile, Veeam also has Russian founders -- Ratmir Timashev and Andrei Baronov. And R&D has involved an office based in St. Petersburg, Russia, according to ZDnet. From time to time, channel partners have wondered if that background would limit, harm or potentially undermine Veeam's business in the United States.
To be clear: Veeam's founders and the company have not been accused of any Russia-related wrongdoing. And the company already has a massive, growing, successful U.S. presence backed by 1,200 employees.
Still, it's clear that new owner Insight Partners isn't taking any chances with Veeam's brand -- especially after the U.S. government took a look at Veeam's stake in N2WS in 2019. (Veeam has since shed that business.)
As part of Insight's $5 billion buyout of Veeam, the data protection company will undergo the following changes:
- New CEO: William H. Largent has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Largent previously was Executive Vice President (EVP), Operations. Related Profile: Who Is William H. Largent? Answers Revealed.
- New CTO: Danny Allan has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer (CTO). PS: The overall Veeam management team is listed here.
- Board Changes: C0-founders Ratmir Timashev and Andrei Baronov are executive VPs at the company. But following the acquisition, they will step down from the board.
- New Headquarters: Veeam will become a U.S. company based in New York. The company had been based in Baar, Switzerland.
Veeam Relocates Headquarters to New York: More Than Logical
The moves are quite practical, considering new Veeam parent Insight Partners also is based in New York. But it's a safe bet Veeam's business moves also are designed to minimize and/or eliminate any U.S. government concerns or unfounded conspiracy theories about a foreign data software giant managing U.S. data assets.
In a statement about the Insight deal, new Veeam CEO William H. Largent emphasized the U.S. focus:
“Veeam has enjoyed rapid global growth over the last decade and we see tremendous opportunity for future growth, particularly in the U.S. market. With the acquisition, we are excited that our current U.S. workforce of more than 1,200 will be expanded and strengthened to acquire and support more customers. Veeam has one of the highest caliber global workforces of any technology company, and we believe this acquisition will allow us to scale our team and technology at an unrivaled pace.”