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SDN Journal Authors: Stefan Dietrich, Elizabeth White, Peter Silva, Pat Romanski, Don MacVittie

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X-IO appoints hyper-growth specialist Brian Owen as CEO

X-IO Technologies has appointed business growth specialist Brian Owen as President and Chief Executive Officer. Owen brings an extensive track record in growing the value of many companies through building distribution and value added reseller networks, as well as through strategic partnerships and alliances.

Other key executive changes:

  • John Beletic, the former CEO, will now become chairman of X-IO.
  • David Gustavsson has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer.
  • Gavin McLaughlin has been appointed Vice President of Worldwide Marketing.

“Brian is an outstanding talent to lead X-IO,” said John Beletic, Chairman of the Board and Oak Venture Partner.

Owen has held several highly successful CEO positions. As CEO of MapInfo (NASDAQ: MM) he oversaw an IPO that was 24 times oversubscribed, while his planned IPO at decalog NV triggered a sale to SunGuard (NYSE: SDS). He has also held senior executive positions within Computer Associates and Oracle.

Most recently, Owen was a general partner with Masthead Venture Partners where he oversaw early-stage investments in emerging technology-based companies, many of which became category-defining leaders in high-growth markets.

Owen cites the opportunity of the company’s ISE (Intelligent Storage Element) systems’ ability to act as the hardware foundations of software-defined storage (SDS) as the key to transforming X-IO’s fortunes. He said: “The realization of the software-defined data center is dramatically transforming the way companies buy, deploy and manage storage and the ISE is the only storage technology that reduces cost and complexity whilst also providing consistent performance and reliability. We plan to drive X-IO out of its previously purely technology focused comfort-zone and go head-to-head at a solution-orientated level with both the new wave of all-flash / hybrid storage start-ups and the traditional legacy storage brands such as NetApp and EMC.”

According to Owen, SDS provides greater efficiencies for data management through exploiting server hypervisor feature sets and less need for expensive, feature-bloated storage arrays. He believes that customers adopting SDS “now want storage that they can ‘rack and stack’ in a more efficient way that allows their infrastructure teams to dictate how it best wants to use and manage its storage.”

“The fact is, the more virtualized the data center is, the more relevant we become,” he added.


Owen is making significant changes to the company’s focus and organizational structure. The first key change is the appointment of David Gustavsson to Chief Operating Officer. David brings a great deal of organizational experience and can harness this to align previously separate areas of X-IO.

  • In this role he will oversee engineering, technical marketing, manufacturing and support.
  • Formerly Vice President of Engineering at X-IO, Gustavsson has been tasked with leading the company’s new engineering strategy that will underpin the growing virtualization and SDS opportunity.

Owen said: “David is an energetic, passionate fireball whose technical vision will be central to our future product strategy. Having David in this role, and building a strong team around him will be central to our success.”

Worldwide Marketing

In addition to the new COO, Owen has also appointed Gavin McLaughlin as Vice President of Worldwide Marketing. Previously X-IO’s Solutions Development Director, Gavin brings 27 years of technical, sales and marketing experience of the storage industry at organizations such as EMC, HP and Sun Microsystems.

McLaughlin will be leading all outbound communications at X-IO including press and analyst relations, core communications, channel and field marketing, together with strategic alliances.

Owen said: “Gavin has spent a lot of time over the last few months creating, testing and communicating the core X-IO message with a small group of key influencers. Now bringing him onto the executive staff team, he will provider an enhanced focus on communicating these new messages to IT decision makers, channels, and influencers”.

About X-IO

X-IO Technologies, with its Intelligent Storage Element (ISE) architecture, has solved some of the fundamental challenges of enterprise storage. ISE addresses the demand of customers for long duty cycle storage, achieves 100 percent capacity utilization without loss of performance, and uniquely does not require service intervention during its lifetime.

Based in Colorado, the organization has offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa and has a proven installation of more than 7,000 units across 1,200+ customers worldwide.

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