Sudhakar Ramakrishna to take the helm as vendor continues to evaluate MSP spin-off
SolarWinds, which is exploring spinning off its MSP business, now has a new CEO to help the company come to a final decision.
The Lowdown: Sudhakar Ramakrishna, who has spent more than five years as CEO of security software and service provider Pulse Secure, was named this week to take over the same spot at SolarWinds. Ramakrishna’s appointment came the same day the Austin, Texas-based company announced it had taken another step toward possibly separating from its MSP business.
The Details: Ramakrishna next month will take over as president and CEO, replacing Kevin Thompson, who earlier this year announced he would be stepping down. The new CEO also will assume a seat on the board of directors.
He will take over a 21-year-old company with more than 3,200 employees, more than 320,000 customers, and third-quarter revenue that came in at $261 million, an 8.5% year-over-year increase. It also boasts more than 22,000 MSP partners that serve more than 450,000 organizations.
SolarWinds in August announced it was considering spinning off its MSP business, creating a stand-alone company that would offer outsourced IT services to SMBs. SolarWinds would retain its core business that sells IT management software and cloud-based services. The goal would be to create two separate companies with tighter strategic focuses.
To that end, SolarWinds said it submitted a Form 10 registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which company executives said was another step in the evaluation process. No final decision has been made.
Background: Ramakrishna comes to SolarWinds with three decades in the tech field. Prior to serving as Pulse’s CEO, he held executive positions with Citrix (as senior vice president and general manager of its Enterprise and Service Provider Division), Polycom (president of products and services), Motorola Networks (corporate vice president and general manager), and 3Com (vice president of global product management). There also were turns at Stoke and Lachman Technologies.
The Buzz: “Following an extensive and thorough search, we are delighted to welcome Sudhakar Ramakrishna as SolarWinds’ new CEO as we embark on an exciting new chapter in the company’s history,” said Bill Bock, chairman of the company’s board of directors. “Sudhakar is a proven leader and has significant experience leading and scaling world-class, global technology organizations. His deep expertise in strategic planning and execution, organizational development, and product strategy will be especially beneficial and, when teamed with the seasoned SolarWinds leadership team, will provide strong and experienced executive leadership for the future of SolarWinds.”
“SolarWinds is at the forefront of enabling customers to manage complex IT environments with simple and integrated solutions,” Ramakrishna said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the excellent team at SolarWinds to accelerate our focus on customer success as we deliver solutions to serve the emerging needs of IT, application, and security professionals even as they adapt to an increasingly hybrid world.”