Violin Memory, the flash storage pioneer that has been in a downward spiral since an abysmal initial public offering in September, has a new CEO. The company announced on Monday its board of directors fired Don Basile and replaced him with interm CEO Howard A. Bain III, chairman of the company’s board. Rumors of Basile’s termination have been swirling since last week.
Shareholders are upset about his luxurious compensation package (nearly $19 million in salary, bonus, stock and options in 2013) despite the company’s slow-growing revenue. The company is also facing a spate of class-action lawsuits from shareholders based on allegations that it misrepresented future revenue and past R&D investments on its S-1 filing leading up to the IPO. Last week, Business Insider published a fairly comprehensive rundown of the company’s woes, including the resignation of CTO Jonathan Goldrick.
The company’s stock is rising after news of Basile’s termination, but it’s still at less than $3 (as of 9am PT) — less than one-third of its asking price of $9 a share on Sept. 26. The company’s problems don’t appear to be tainting the market’s appetite for flash-storage stock, however: share of Nimble Storage (which offers arrays combining flash and disk, as opposed to Violin’s high-performance-based flash approach) are up more than 13 percent, to nearly $36, after its IPO on Friday.
According to the press release announcing Basile’s termination, Violin “has initiated a search process and retained an executive search firm to identify a permanent CEO.”