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New Veeam CEO sets $10B revenue goal, potential IPO
Veeam has had several CEOs in the last five years. Its latest leader aims for a massive increase in revenue, an IPO and acquisitions to continue its growth trajectory.
Veeam Software reported $1 billion in annual recurring revenue this year. The data protection vendor's new CEO has set a goal to grow that figure tenfold.
Anand Eswaran, who left his role as president and COO of RingCentral on Wednesday, began the Veeam CEO job Thursday. He took over from William Largent, who led Veeam since its acquisition by Insight Partners in early 2020. Largent will remain chairman of the company's board of directors.
"The goal is to take the foundation that is already in place, to scale the company to $10 billion in revenue over the next mid-term, not even long-term," Eswaran said. "I think the opportunity is there for Veeam, more than any other company in this space I've seen."
The $10 billion figure represents a "massive increase in scale from where Veeam is right now," said Krista Macomber, senior analyst at Evaluator Group.
"Getting there will require a substantial increase in penetration of the North American market, including the U.S. federal sector," Macomber said. "It will also require Veeam to continue to gain traction outside of virtual environments and in cloud and container workloads."
Veeam, which started out specializing in backup for VMware, has expanded in recent years to cloud, physical servers and endpoints, Kubernetes and SaaS protection. Its most recent offerings include Backup for Salesforce, due to be generally available soon, and the integration of Kasten's Kubernetes protection, which it acquired in 2020. Veeam claims to have 400,000 customers today.
"We have a lot of momentum behind us but a lot to do -- a lot to move forward on in terms of moving toward that next billion," said Jim Kruger, chief marketing officer at Veeam. "It's really good timing for Anand to come in to help us to scale to our next chapter. He has really strong experience from that perspective."
How Veeam can get to $10 billion, IPO
Eswaran said he doesn't have a specific timeframe for the $10 billion goal but noted that Veeam's foundation is solid.
"That's what excited me -- this is not a company [where] I needed to come in and say 'Hey, we need to do things differently,'" Eswaran said. "It is, 'How do you amplify and accelerate the innovation strategy we have?'"
Those improvements include increasing Veeam's market share in North America and strengthening its channel partner strategy.
"I think the biggest thing that I'm going to bring to Veeam is the ability to scale the company, create the sophistication of go-to-market, channel partnerships needed, and essentially create the structure and discipline and scale for what's needed to actually take us from a billion to 10," Eswaran said.
Eswaran's experience at Microsoft and RingCentral will help guide the company to grow its internal operations and cultivate closer partnerships with Veeam's large technical and channel partners, Macomber said.
"I also believe it will help Veeam's foray deeper into the enterprise and U.S. public sector," she said.
Anand EswaranVeeam CEO
A potential IPO is top of mind as well. Veeam executives have discussed the possibility of going public for a few years now. Eswaran, who has not led a company through the IPO process before, is confident Veeam has the revenue to go public.
"If you look at the private company landscape, there's actually very few billion-dollar companies that have still not gone public," Eswaran said. "We are going through the process right now. And stay tuned for that. I don't think there's anything left to accomplish before we need to go public at this point."
As one of the fastest-growing companies in its market, Veeam is in a good position to go public, said Phil Goodwin, research vice president at IDC.
"Under the current market conditions, we think it would be something they'd want to do sooner rather than later," Goodwin said.
Acquisitions are also on the table, though Eswaran did not provide specific details on potential targets.
"The key thing is it's got to fit in from a technology standpoint and the company has to fit in from a cultural standpoint," Eswaran said. "I've seen too often very interesting tech acquisitions fail because there's not enough of a cultural fit."
Challenges include stability, staying agile
For two years at RingCentral, which provides unified communications as a service, Eswaran led engineering, products, sales and marketing, and human resources. Prior to RingCentral, Eswaran was a corporate vice president at Microsoft for five years. He has also worked in leadership roles at SAP and Hewlett-Packard. Before those jobs, he worked in startups.
"Veeam is not a startup by any means, but feels like the energy of a startup," Eswaran said. "One of the things that has been my core competence is not losing the energy of a startup."
While Eswaran has not had a role focused on backup and recovery before, he said he doesn't think Veeam will be constrained to those technologies. Though they are a core piece of the Veeam Backup & Replication platform, the vendor also offers data management features such as orchestration, monitoring and analytics.
Staying agile -- responding to the changing needs of the market and customers – will be Eswaran's biggest challenge, Goodwin said.
Bringing stability to the Veeam CEO position and executive leadership is another challenge. Eswaran is the fifth person to claim the title of Veeam CEO since 2016. Veeam co-founder Ratmir Timashev held the job the longest, from 2006 to 2016.
Veeam's board of directors made the decision to search for a new CEO, Kruger said. The board used a search firm and considered both internal and external candidates for the role.
"The board felt Eswaran is the best fit for the needs of the company at this point in our journey," Kruger said.
Evaluator Group's Macomber speculated that the high CEO turnover rate may be tied to Veeam's growth initiatives. For example, when Largent took over in early 2020, part of the turnover was to complete Veeam's transition to being U.S.-owned and managed.
"[Stability] will require continuing to really engage the employee base -- prioritizing engaging employees around the core vision, strategy and value propositions," Macomber said. "And externally speaking, I'd look for replicating the success it had with VM admins, for example, building close relationships with cloud teams."
Largent, who was not available for an interview, will work closely with Eswaran and the executive team on the transition. Eswaran also received a seat on the board of directors.
"[Largent has] been an icon within the company since day one and will continue to help to support us," Kruger said. "I'm thankful for that."
A focus on a "people-first, inclusive culture" is critical, Eswaran said.
"That goes to the heart of not just creating stability but creating energy," he said. "You want them to feel inspired and energetic on where the company is going."