back to article Violin Memory shares collapse as it files for chapter 11

Violin Memory has bowed to the inevitable and made a Chapter 11 filing. A chapter 11 bankruptcy filing doesn't always signal it's over, but it might mean the early flash pioneer is getting there. Violin Memory's tortured struggle to stay in business now depends upon it streamlining its business further and pursuing a sale. …

  1. Spikehead
    Facepalm

    Economics fail

    I make that a share price of 5 cents. Tips and correction sent over.

    1. Spikehead

      Re: Economics fail

      And has since been corrected.

  2. flashdba

    Sad but inevitable

    I remember at the sales kick off a couple of years ago when the 7000 FSP product was launched. Kevin stood up in front of the worldwide sales force and told us, "No matter what happens, from this moment on the company will never be the same again".

    He was right.

    1. Johnniebrown@gmail.com

      Re: Sad but inevitable

      Pathological belief that since they got lucky once with Redback they could do it again. Sad that they are stringing on their remaining clients with more delusions that some miracle will occur and then they can then rehire the entire Support organization that they just fired ... poor suckers that bought these guys promises

  3. Lusty

    What went wrong?

    Basically, what went wrong is that a great company with a great niche product went public. The shareholders then focussed on growth rather than doing well what they were good at. Growth isn't always possible or a good thing. Violin could have remained in their niche and made a lot of money, they could have licensed their excellent IP, they could have done a lot of things had growth not been the driving goal.

    Were they a failure? No, the initial shareholders and investors made their money and it was other people who lost everything. The way the stock market is played (it is a game, and nothing to do with business) this was a roaring success. Someone will now get a lot of cheap patents, so hopefully it's not all dead.

    1. Spudley

      Re: What went wrong?

      The way the stock market is played (it is a game, and nothing to do with business) this was a roaring success

      I've always believed that there's a strong case to be had for share holdings to be subject to a lengthy minimum duration of ownership before they can be sold.

      I don't know how it would/could ever work out in practice, but it would be nice if we could bring the practice of share ownership more in line with the actual concept of being a part owner of the company, rather than shares just being seen as chips on a roulette table for short-term instant-win gambling.

      1. Tom Womack

        Re: What went wrong?

        The USA does this to an extent - if you hold the shares for less than a year, you pay income tax on the profits, whilst if you hold them for longer you pay a lower capital-gains-tax rate.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  4. Cuddles Silver badge

    Insert joke

    ...about the worlds tiniest violin.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Insert joke

      $1.5m? There are actual violins that fetch more that that.

      1. John H Woods

        Re: Insert joke

        ... when you put viola players at the violin desks ... ?

  5. Boyan_StorPool

    The industry is going through a radical transformation, so the weakest fall first. As said before: all-flash vendors have no long-term future - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/02/19/boyan_ivanov_storpool_ceo_interview/

    Next year we'll see more vendors close or get acquired (although by whom, most incumbents struggle themselves).

    Boyan I. @ StorPool

    www.storpool.com

    1. FrankAlphaXII

      You're the guy that said mainframes are rare, right?

      If so, enough said.

  6. DNTP

    Presumably Chap. 11 was obvious to management two weeks ago...

    So why in hell did they pay a 150k retention bonus to CFO Cory Sindelar two weeks ago to keep him onboard into 2017, while at the same time firing staff and billing it as a turnaround transition strategy?

    Liars and looters!

    1. ckm5

      Re: Presumably Chap. 11 was obvious to management two weeks ago...

      To be fair, the CFO is probably the one guy you need to stick around if you are going Ch 11.... I'm guessing that was a upfront payment for his services as he is unlikely to get his salary or bonus after filing....

      (edit - someone else wrote a similar comment, but didn't reply to this thread....)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "So why in hell did they pay a 150k retention bonus to CFO Cory Sindelar two weeks ago to keep him onboard into 2017"

    They needed someone knowledgeable to fill out the Chapter 11 paperwork. Sindelar clearly knew this was coming and played his position well. Too bad the other employees didn't have the same leverage.

    1. fredesmite Bronze badge
      Unhappy

      Out of the 400 employees from last year who are all but gone .. .. he is only one left with they keys to an office to sign off on the pile of chap 11 paper work ?

  8. Networking Dude

    Yet another ex Cisco exec fails outside the mothership

    Outside of Jayshree Ullal at Arista, not many ex- Senior Cisco execs have been able to do anything outside of the Cisco cocoon. DeNuccio just joins a long list of faliures

  9. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Well, interesting tech, but crowded market and no differentiation

    This has been coming for a long time.

    What do you guys think, would someone like NetApp or Cisco buy them on a fire sale flyer?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, interesting tech, but crowded market and no differentiation

      Exactly what are they selling and who will buy what ? The junked offices ? old lab equipment ? spare parts ? old IP that really isn't relevant ? angry customer list ? I am assuming they still have support revenue for existing installations ; how much is that worth ?

      Can I show up on Jan 20 and poke through the pile of old computers stacked in the loading docks ? Bring cash I guess.

  10. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CEO and gang to hire, if you want to take your company towards bankrupty

      I've got no basis to comment on Kevin Denuccio's competence, but how could he even come close to the "most greedy CEO prize" having followed Don Basile?

      Here's an extract from an article from El Reg:

      "It has not been the easiest three months for Don Basile. Business Insider points out his total pay in 2013 was $18.9m, an amazingly large amount when you consider that Violin’s revenues for its latest quarter were just $28.3m. Having the CEO get awarded near enough $20m in a fiscal year which has so far seen total losses of more than $90m will strike many observers as ludicrously unbalanced."

      Here's a link about Denuccio:

      http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/10/01/meet-the-ceo-working-for-10-15hour/

      So, whilst the $45K salary in 2014 for Denuccio may not have been the only compensation he received, it pales into insignificance compared to the $18.9M in compensation Basile got in 2013 that looked even then massively unwarranted.

      I'd argue that VMEM looked like "pump and dump" in 2013 and their future was mainly pre-determined by decisions made before Denuccio - but if you know he's made bad decisions since then, fair enough.....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CEO and gang to hire, if you want to take your company towards bankrupty

        "if you know he's made bad decisions since"

        He hired a bunch of Cisco and Redback Networks people who didn't understand storage and put them in executive positions.

        He allowed head of product management Said Ouissal to take over global sales despite not having any true sales experience.

        He allowed Steve Dalton to create and release a product which was not fit for purpose.

        He kept Cory Sindelar in place as CFO despite him being the guy who presided over one of the worst IPOs in the history of storage.

        So yeah.

  11. fredesmite Bronze badge
    WTF?

    What are they actually selling ? What is the buyer getting ?

    Old technology ? The big iron guys : Oracle/HP/IBM - out sell these little guys 1000:1 in hardware .

    At best the buyer gets the customer list to sell them replacement storage .

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lost their way

    Flash storage is booming yet they lost over $60m in 1 year while Pure and Nimble sold over $300m combined in the same period.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lost their way

      What were Pure and Nimble's losses on that $300M in revenue. Growing revenue isn't hard when you lose money on every box.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lost their way

      Pure and presumably Nimble are generating revenue but their cash burn is still high -

      For each quarter Net Profit is still negative

      See story linked here

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/12/01/pure_storage_results/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lost their way

        that article says Pure is making millions ... so what is your pointless point?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Merry Christmas.

    You are all fired.

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