OVH has announced the team that will lead its push into the US cloud and hosting market. The news comes 10 days after the company announced a reorganisation of its governance to support its new acceleration phase. After seeking its first external investment last year of €250 million, OVH is targeting a global turnover of €1 billion by 2020.
The importance of the US market
For OVH to become a €1 billion player it needs a strong US footprint. As a European company, OVH has been cautious about the issue of privacy and data protection. At the company’s European Summit in Paris last year it said the US operation would be a separate operation. This is to protect customer data in other countries.
With two datacentres now under construction it is the right time to announce who will run the operation. OVH has announced a five man team of whom two will sit on the US Board. Interestingly, all five served at Media Temple which means they know how each other works. In addition, all bar Kuhn have been involved with GoDaddy. This makes for a very experienced and respectable management team that will appeal to corporate customers.
Who are the board?
The five man team are:
Russell P. Reeder – President, CEO, and Member of US Board: 25 years of industry experience, he has built and sold several businesses. This includes LibreDigital to RR Donnelly and Media Temple to GoDaddy.
Dean Gels – Chief Financial Officer and Member of US Board: 15 years of financial experience in technology M&A, equity and debt financing. Gels experience as an investment banker has included 40 deals amounting to $17 billion in transaction value. He was involved in the sale of Media Temple to GoDaddy in 2013 and was lead arranger for GoDaddy’s $2.25 billion recapitalization in 2011.
Brian Kuhn – Chief Digital Officer: 25 years in product and marketing with experience at AT&T, eBay, Palm and HP. Like Reeder and Gels he was also served at Media Temple as VP of product and user experience.
Robert Gregory – Chief Customer Officer: 13 years of experience as global customer sales and support executive. Last 10 years spent growing Media Temple and GoDaddy’s hosting and sales support teams from 100 to 600 employees, and drove revenues from $3 million to $100 million annually.
Scott Brown – Senior Vice President Engineering & Operations: A decade of experience launching products and services in the hosting industry. VP of engineering at Media Temple overseeing software engineering, architecture, quality assurance and operational support of cloud services, shared hosting, dedicated hosting and more. Responsible for PaaS offerings that resulted in $725,000 in new bookings in a single year.
The mix of skills, especially Brown’s engineering and PaaS experience will be essential for OVH to compete the likes of AWS. It will be interesting to see if any of his designs end up in other OVH units.
This is a powerful board designed to give OVH the gravitas it needs to compete in the most aggressive cloud market in the world. They bring with them the experience of having worked together to build companies. This is what will appeal the most to enterprise customers as they establish OVH in the US.