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At Asigra, father-son team replaced by newly hired execs

After running the private company for more than 30 years, David and Eran Farajun will turn day-to-day leadership of Asigra over to a newly hired team of executives.

A new CEO and a handful of newly named executives have taken the helm at Asigra Inc., the first significant change at the top levels of the family-owned cloud backup vendor in decades.

Company founder and former CEO David Farajun will remain on the board of directors; his son, Eran Farajun, who served as the company's primary spokesperson and evangelist in recent years, will keep his executive vice president title and serve on the board as well.

New hires for the company's top brass include Eric Simmons as CEO and president of the board; Val Silva as CTO; Pete Nourse as chief revenue officer and chief marketing officer; and Chris Gilkes as vice president of worldwide sales.

The new team marks a notable culture change since Asigra was founded in 1986, said Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting.

"It was a good move on their part to say they need pros," Staimer said. "They're putting in place a modern executive team."

The new team joined the company at the end of 2021. Priorities for the team and company will include a new marketing push for Asigra products among channel partners and new features for the Asigra software, according to Simmons.

"It's David's other child and legacy in life," Simmons said in an interview with SearchDataBackup. "We want to continue to do meaningful work."

New blood, new features

Asigra Cloud Backup is the company's sole product, offering enterprise data protection and cybersecurity features. The software combats initial ransomware attacks and prevents ransomware from embedding in backups.

Eric Simmons, CEO, AsigraEric Simmons

Asigra sells entirely through channel partners, primarily managed services providers selling backup as a service and disaster recovery as a service. Asigra's pricing model can vary based on the amount of data recovered or specific components such as number of sockets, cores or total protected machines. The customer base tends to be SMB to midmarket.

"In the past couple of years, we haven't done as good a job getting out in the market and telling our story as effectively as we could be," Simmons said.

Simmons said new features planned for Asigra's cloud backup product will include improvements to multifactor authentication and new malware recognition technology.

Staimer said Asigra customers shouldn't expect major changes to the product in the next few months, as the new executive team will be "drinking from a firehose."

The Asigra product remains competitive, offering some of the best pricing options in the market despite a lack of brand awareness beyond its channel partners, according to Staimer.

In the past couple of years, we haven't done as good a job getting out in the market and telling our story as effectively as we could be.
Eric SimmonsCEO, Asigra

"They've got the most complete ransomware protection on the market right now," he said. "I've always been impressed with their technology."

The company, which is based in Toronto, has remained private without accepting venture capital investment, according to Dave Raffo, senior analyst at Evaluator Group.

The turnover of top-line executives marks a dramatic step for a company that has remained successful, albeit small. The continued profitability of the company under the same leadership marks consistency in the product's capability and demand, alongside a seldom-seen length of tenure in the industry, according to Raffo.

"This is a really sweeping change," he said. "That's a different company right there, especially when they're coming in and replacing a son-and-pop shop."

The shift in leadership ushers in a new way of looking at the company, Staimer said. Should the new C-suite look to take the company public, he speculated Asigra would require a significant amount of expansion and growth in the short term -- anathema to how the old guard ran things.

"[The Farajuns] run the company to be profitable. It's a different philosophy," Staimer said.

Tim McCarthy is a journalist living in the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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