Acronis, a backup software company that works closely with some MSPs, is making a high-impact executive move -- naming Red Hat executive sales wizard Alex Pinchev as its next president and CEO. The move, effective Jan. 17, 2012, could further accelerate Acronis's global sales strategy.

Acronis claims to be one of the fastest growing privately held software companies in the United States -- though I don't have access to the company's financial results. Among the data points worth noting, Acronis has:
  • More than 175,000 business customers and over 3 million consumer customers worldwide -- served by more than 20,000 partners.
  • A channel effort that includes the Acronis MSP partner program.
  • A longstanding relationship with Kaseya. Last I heard, the Kaseya Backup 4.0 offering was based on Acronis storage technology. But I need to double-check the relationships status.
  • Promoted cross-platform virtualization support for VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Citrix and Parallels.
Pinchev replaces outgoing CEO Jason Donahue. Acronis did not disclose the reason for the executive change, but the company has navigated executive transitions before. Former Acronis CEO Walter Scott (now head of GFI Software) apparently built Acronis into a $100 million software company before leaving in 2008, according to Wikipedia. I don't know current annual revenue figures for Acronis.

Who Is Pinchev?

Meanwhile, Acronis gains a talented sales and software executive in Pinchev. He most recently was president of global sales, services and field marketing at Red Hat -- which is on track to become the world's first $1 billion open source company this year. Pinchev spent nine years at Red Hat, which derives roughly 50 to 60 percent of its revenue from channel partners, MSPmentor has heard.

Ilya Zubarev, chairman of the board at Acronis, said in a prepared statement: "We believe that Alex’s strong leadership will accelerate Acronis’ journey to be a global leader in backup & recovery solutions not only for physical servers, but for virtual environments, and into the cloud.”

Generally speaking, I don't hear much from Acronis; several rival backup companies seem to have higher profiles in the managed services partner ecosystem. But I respect Pinchev's track record at Red Hat. We'll be watching to see if or how Pinchev adjusts the Acronis partner strategy in January.