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insideHPC exclusive with Verari CEO: "The doors are open."

Verari Sytems logoI just got off the phone with Verari CEO David Wright, who took a few minutes to talk with me this morning about what his company is going through. It was an interesting conversation.

Wright describes Verari as being in a “controlled reorganization,” which is consistent with what employees were told at the all hands meeting last week (going by the comments on the original story, anyway). According to him, this is not a Chapter 7 or 11 proceeding, but it is a reorganization, and he expects it will take about six weeks to resolve.

Also, Wright was at pains to point out that the doors are not closed. Although he did say that most of the staff is gone today, there are people in the office working on a way forward — “some on payroll, and some not.” These folks are working on a support plan for existing customers which Wright hopes to have on the web site “today or tomorrow,” as well as on how to fill existing orders. Verari’s support comes largely from business partners, so they may actually be able to come up with something there.

Although he isn’t able to comment on much at this point, when I asked about how the business got into this shape he ascribed it to a lot of factors, including a credit market problem. Evidently Verari’s is a capital intensive business, especially the container business, and according to Wright they couldn’t get the cash to service their “substantial backlog.”

I also asked about a comment left on GigaOm about a potential new business rising from Verari

A rumor is circulating that a bunch of “key employees for the container business” will be rehired next week and be part of a New Company started by one of the key investors in Verari… the current stockholders, investors, and so on are out of luck, but key members of Verari management are going to that new company. Seems like a deal for those involved, if true.

Wright declined to comment, but did commit to staying in touch with us.

Comments

  1. Wow.. “some on payroll and some not”.. I’m familar with that situation, and it’s never fun…

  2. Just saw this article on the Register.

    Verari Systems staff join alumni network amidst ‘restructure’
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/14/verari_systems_shutters/

    You guys are mentioned in the article also.
    “Anonymous posts over at insideHPC suggest that the company is trying to sell assets and to configure a new company after a restructuring.”

    Cheers.

    Rich

  3. IheartDavidWright says:

    YES WE ARE STILL OPEN PLEASE GIVE US MONEY I WILL USE IT IN A WISE WAY I PROMISE. LOOK HOW WELL MY EXEC MGMT TEAM HAS DONE SO FAR.

  4. dw-cronies says:

    That’s right run the company into the ground with useless trips and expenses and nose candy for your execs! Wait until bankrupt, fire all those that built the company in the first place, screw your investors and come back from the ashes? What so these jerkoffs can screw another set of people?

  5. exemployee says:

    Doors are not still open. All employees were terminated as of the 11th. Everyone forced to go on unemployment benefits and the employees lost everything, vacation time and stock options if we had some. All gone. Notice Wright says nothing about the restructuring benefiting the employees in his entire statement. Thanks for everything David! Merry Christmas. All the management team deserves this Christmas is large lumps of coal. 16 VP’s are what lead to our demise. All of Wrights buddies that he brought on board 3 years ago with high 6 figure salaries, including his secretary of all people, caused this along with a lot of execs not living in San Diego so they all lived in Hotels. Charged all back to the company along with their food, rental cars etc… The technology is great and solid and this should never have happened. I sort of wonder if this was Wrights goal the entire time. Run the business into the ground, terminate everyone and then pick up the container business for himself and screw everyone else except his buddies. Noticed in a few other posts that he mentioned investors wanting to pick up the container business and hiring back some emplyees for this. Just wonder if it is David Wright as the “investor”. if thats the case, he needs to be prosecuted. A lot of lives were crushed last friday… Shame on you David Wright.

  6. knowledge1 says:

    Wow it sounds like DW really mismanaged a good company overall. However, Verari was about to loose a big piece of business with EMC supplying blade chassis and switching for EMC’s new CaaS and cloud storage service infrastructure. EMC is using a technology platform in their cloud data centers that is apparently a powerful network automation product that drives the switching and security infrastructure automatically to provision and actually move VMs around the cloud (in response to Vmotion events I suppose) along with the related infra for storage access (very cool). Rumor has it the Verari’s could not hold up and had suffered outages, re-boots, etc. The business is going elsewhere probably Cisco……I saw a giga blog on this several weeks ago and it mentioned Cisco nexus and UCS were in the running and are already certified worked with the infrastructure engine EMC is using, I think the company providing the system is an east coast start up . Something like this can really hurt at a time when Verari is struggling from a cash standpoint. I know a lot of folks who run their gear and love it so I am hoping for the best outcome for those who deserve it.

    Good news cloud and virtualization are rolled up into a massive market now on the move……..Verari folks wont be unemployed for long!

  7. InsideHPC – Good for you for talking to Wright. Could you actually understand him? I always had a tough time. Given that Verari is/was privately held, there is little that Wright can’t publicly state. Anything he doesn’t say carries more weight then what is stated.

    knowledge 1 – I’m so sick of this. How do you propose that one customer they were “about to loose (SIC)” could crash the company. Use some logic. Please. It’s obviously been poorly managed from a financial standpoint for several years. I suggest three years, since DW bled the cash out of the company to employ all his buds from Amdahl.

    You know, on the bright side, I don’t ever have to listen to the “When I was at Amdahl . . . ” crap again.

  8. We ain’t out of business, we just got repossessed by Silicon Valley Bank. Every employee was terminated. We are liquidating assets. It Ain’t Over! IAO! We will use the cash to leverage my positions!

    David B Wright! Bitches!

  9. CodenameLOL says:

    omg, I was having a terrible day, then I read your comment (“Another Ex” and “DavidBWriteBitches”) and laughed laughed laughed.

  10. Yes, its true. V is out of business for now. If you are in the San Diego area, there is a sign posted on the corporate HQ stating the assets of the company are now owned by a holding company. The doors are open, if you have an escort and are there to get your things. I’m sure there will be stories to come, but DW and his team did their best to groom up sales and image in order to sell the company to the highest bidder. Unfortunately, the gamble was high-risk and didn’t pan out in the end. It was definitely a Hail-Marry with only 1 of 2 outcomes. It was a not-so-happy ending for all of the employees. The ending will make a great addition to any business school on what not to do to loyal employees.

  11. Codename Zebra says:

    “DW and his team did their best to groom up sales”
    Incorrect to a degree I cannot even begin to comprehend. When you’re selling at a loss consistently you are not even attempting to be competent.

  12. Dodged_A_Bullet says:

    I interviewed at Verari about two years ago for a Marketing position. One thing that I found a bit alarming was that they were clearly burning through a lot of cash, (just like another now-bankrupt San Diego company, NextWave Wireless) but the interviewer said they’d never been profitable. Ever.

    My major was Marketing, not Economics, but you don’t have to be Alan Greenspan to know that sort of churn-and-burn can’t last forever; eventually the investors want to see some results. Didn’t Verari learn anything from the “dotcom” catastrophe nine years ago?

    Anyway, I got an offer from a much more stable company and took it. I hate to gloat, but I do hope the managers I met with were among the ones who lost their jobs. I went back for three interviews, followed up with thank you letters–the whole nine yards–and not one of them ever had the common courtesy to call me back; it’s been two years now so I assume I didn’t get the job.

    So I hope, now that they’re on the other side of the desk in the job interview process, they’ll get to see how rude and unprofessional it is to spend hours preparing for and participating in the interview process only to be snubbed in the end.

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  3. [...] not only dead, but the evil dead — and what was left of the management team, who said “the doors are still open.” The doors were clearly not open in any but the most technical sense of the word, but we [...]

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