Arik Hesseldahl

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Former HP Exec Shane Robison Named CEO of Fusion-io

robison-2-72Fusion-io, the flash memory company, just announced that its CEO, David Flynn, has resigned, and that Shane Robison, the former chief strategy office of Hewlett-Packard, has been named to succeed him.

Robison, already a director at Fusion, was also named its chairman. Rick White, the company’s chief marketing officer, also resigned.

Flynn, the company’s statement said, is resigning in order to pursue “entrepreneurial investment opportunities,” and White will be joining him.

Fusion shares are trading down by 16 percent in premarket trading. As of 8:43 am ET, the quoted price was $14.99, down more than $3 from Tuesday’s closing price of $18.

At HP, Robison was chief strategy officer, in charge of most of that company’s mergers and acquisition strategy. He led numerous deals, including, but not limited to, its 2002 acquisition of Compaq, as well as deals for Mercury Interactive, Opsware, EDS and 3Com.

But since he was the first senior exec to depart HP after Meg Whitman took over in the fall of 2011, Robison, along with former CEO Léo Apotheker, was seen as the one who took a fair amount of the blame for the ill-advised 2011 acquisition of the British software firm Autonomy. Some would argue, however, that HP chose to throw Robison under the bus.

Update: The fall in Fusion shares is continuing. With a minute to go before the opening of markets in New York, Fusion-io shares are indicating lower by nearly 25 percent. The current price quoted as of 9:29 am ET was $13.52.

Here’s the company’s press release:

Shane Robison Named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

SALT LAKE CITY — May 8, 2013 — Fusion-io, Inc. (NYSE: FIO) today announced that Shane Robison has been named Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, effective immediately. Mr. Robison, who is a director of the Fusion-io Board of Directors, succeeds David Flynn, who has resigned as CEO and President to pursue entrepreneurial investing activities.

The company also announced that co-founder, Rick White, has resigned as Chief Marketing Officer to join Mr. Flynn in early stage investing activities. Messrs. Flynn and White will both remain members of the Board and will serve in advisory roles to the company for the next 12 months.

Mr. Robison, 59, has more than 30 years of experience in senior business management and product development roles with some of the world’s leading technology companies, including AT&T Labs, Cadence Design Systems and Apple. He most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Technology Officer of Hewlett-Packard Company from May 2002 until November 1, 2011.

“Shane Robison is a proven executive with the experience and expertise to lead Fusion-io as we enter our next phase of growth and development,” said Scott Sandell, lead independent director of the Fusion-io Board. “Over the course of his career, Shane has demonstrated an ability to develop the critical corporate strategies to help innovative companies scale and grow globally. Shane’s understanding of our business, significant international experience, and deep industry and partner relationships make him ideally suited to lead Fusion-io as we seek to accelerate the company’s strategic and financial goals to enhance shareholder value.”

“I am honored to lead Fusion-io through its next chapter of growth,” said Mr. Robison. “Fusion-io has long been recognized for its visionary technology, and I look forward to working closely with the company’s talented team as we continue to develop the critical technology that we all rely on to deliver the world’s data faster. As the use of data grows, IT professionals need more effective and efficient ways to power their business-critical applications. Fusion-io has an incredible opportunity to continue to transform the software defined storage industry. Our customer relationships are strong, and working with the company’s exceptional management team, I am excited to lead Fusion-io.”

“On behalf of the Board and entire Fusion-io team, I want to thank David and Rick for their significant contributions to the creation, development and growth of the company,” said Mr. Sandell. “David and Rick’s vision as co-founders has redefined memory technology and had a profound impact on our industry. Under their leadership, Fusion-io has developed into one of the world’s leading technology companies, helping businesses increase datacenter efficiency. They played an important role in taking the company public and developing a strong framework from which Fusion-io can grow to the next level.”

Fusion-io noted that today’s announcements are not related to any issues regarding the integrity of the company’s financial statements or accounting policies and practices.

Business Outlook
Fusion-io reaffirmed the financial outlook it provided on April 24, 2013 for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2013, before giving effect to any costs associated with the departures of Messrs. Flynn and White.

The following statements are based on current expectations. These statements are forward-looking, and actual results may differ materially.

Fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013:

· Revenue is expected to be approximately $110 million.

· Non-GAAP gross margin is expected to be 56 to 58%.

· Non-GAAP operating loss of approximately $5 million.

· Diluted shares outstanding are expected to be approximately 98 million shares.

Fiscal Year 2013 guidance:

· Revenue is expected to be approximately $435 million.

· Non-GAAP gross margin is expected to be in the range of 58 to 60%.

· Non-GAAP operating margin is expected to be approximately 9.5%.

· Diluted shares outstanding are expected to be approximately 109 million shares.

About Shane Robison
Shane Robison, 59, has served as a director of Fusion-io since December 2011. Mr. Robison served as Chief Strategy & Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Hewlett-Packard Company from May 2002 to November 2011. From 2000 to May 2002, Mr. Robison served as Senior Vice President, Technology and Chief Technology Officer of Strategy and Technology of Compaq Computer Corporation. Prior to joining Compaq, Mr. Robison served as the President of Internet Technology and Development at AT&T Labs. Prior to AT&T Labs, Mr. Robison was Executive Vice President, Research and Development, and then served as President of the Design Productivity Group at Cadence Design Systems. Mr. Robison also spent seven years at Apple Inc., where he held a series of executive-level positions, leaving the company as Vice President and General Manager of the Personal interactive Electronics Division. Mr. Robison’s experience includes work at Schlumberger’s research groups in Silicon Valley, at Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation and consulting for the University of Utah in the area of database systems architecture. Mr. Robison also serves as a director of Altera Corporation. Mr. Robison holds a B.S. and a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Utah.


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