back to article Nimble CEO lifts lid on sales veep saga. It ain't pretty

Nimble Storage and Eric Mann, its now ex-senior vice president for worldwide sales, parted ways because of travel overload and an exec team misfit, at least according to the company's CEO. Hybrid array vendor Nimble attended a Needham investor conference last week. A listen to the webcast of the conference reveals that Mann’s …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for confirming... your a bunch self-centered moron

    If somebody does not fit a job role, that is life and every company will have different requirements - in that case then part ways gracefully, or push them out of the door..

    But don't put out press release that humiliates the person. this whole episode is disgraceful, disrespectful and irresponsible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thanks for confirming... your a bunch self-centered moron

      Agreed, it's only the CEO that comes out looking like a fool in this story.

      And it also doesn't explain the large number of people who have left the rank and file of Nimble in the last few months.

  2. Alistair
    Coat

    "is perforce very aggressive"

    I.E.

    "Im a f***ing slave driver and if you don't f***ing like it get the f*** out!!!"

    I see flying chairs.

  3. keithpeter Silver badge
    Windows

    Just wondering...

    ...what does a sales team in this kind of company actually do?

    Customers are technically literate and presumably have a good idea of metrics. Will they not just run the numbers, check the tech and place an order?

    The tramp for obvious reasons

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Just wondering...

      Answer questions, mostly. What makes the product different? What's support like? Do they have any existing customers with similar configurations? They then serve as a point of contact when there are issues or the customer wants another unit/upgrades/etc.

      The sales guys also spend a lot of time training the channel partners so that they know enough about the product to answer questions/sell the boxes as well as to ensure channel partners are up on the technical side of things enough to provide tier 1 and tier 2 support. (With tier 3 typically going back to the startup's engineers.)

      Sales - especially being a sales executive - in a startup is a thankless, miserable job. It's hard work, spectacularly long hours, way too many conventions and so much travel you almost never see your family. Your friends become simply "the people you see most often in your travels", from "that guy" who seems to be on 30% of your flights to the sales guys for competing companies, to the "thought leaders" you keep seeing at all the VMUGs and conferences.

      Sales guys have to coordinate with social media nerds, stay on top of social media (as it is increasingly used to try to talk with companies) and at the executive layer they have to work closely with all the other tentacles of the company to ensure that A) they know what's changing and B) they manage to push those changes/training down to their army of salespeople and channel partners.

      Often too, salespeople are the front line for abuse. If a change happens to the privacy policy, pricing, whatever, it's the salespeople who serve as lightning rod. This is perhaps an important factor of their job: serving as lightning rod and insulating the engineers from the din and roar.

      At the same time, they need to collect metrics on demand for the product. Who likes it? Why? Who doesn't? Why? What are some sales lost? Why are others won? What are customers demanding? Etc. Not just a "feel", but hard, empirical data. Taking that back to rest of the team and either tweaking marketing or product design.

      1. keithpeter Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Just wondering...

        Interesting reply as always Trevor. Just a couple of thoughts...

        "The sales guys also spend a lot of time training the channel partners so that they know enough about the product to answer questions/sell the boxes as well as to ensure channel partners are up on the technical side of things enough to provide tier 1 and tier 2 support. (With tier 3 typically going back to the startup's engineers.)"

        Manuals? Wiki? Videos? FAQ cheat sheets? Basically why the need for actual presence?

        "...at the executive layer they have to work closely with all the other tentacles of the company to ensure that A) they know what's changing and B) they manage to push those changes/training down to their army of salespeople and channel partners..."

        Again issue tracker or wiki?

        Am I being naive(*) or could not some of the organisational structures developed by the libre/open source community get used here to reduce the need for actual face time and allow a human scale sales committment?

        (*) Quite possible, I work as a teacher.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Just wondering...

          "Manuals? Wiki? Videos? FAQ cheat sheets? Basically why the need for actual presence?"

          Because someone has to make sure that the partners aren't phoning it in? It starts with convincing them that there's value in selling the product in question, but finishes with convincing them that it's worth taking the time to actually learn enough to sell it. You are starting from a premise that people to what is rational, or that they are motivated to learn. They are both false. People are irrational and learning sounds like work, so they'll avoid it unless someone stands over them with a whip.

          "Again issue tracker or wiki?"

          Again, you are presuming that people will do something that doesn't directly benefit them without someone standing over them and forcing them to do it. That's false. They aren't going to update an issue tracker or a wiki. You need someone whose job it is to coordinate things and to disseminate information.

          To put it more succinctly: the job of a sales exec is to herd cats. Angry, apathetic cats with autistic tendencies and the attention....oooh....squirrel!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    interesting way of dealing with things

    i think the past week has demonstrated a clear lack of maturity in this organisation from the leaders who are driving the strategy.

    The PR damage and it's ability to attract talent have been compromised by an appaliing lack of maturity by key stakeholders.

    I wont be trusting Nimble with my $$$

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh, young company hires improperly and makes a slight hash of the exit announcement. If the face value is to be believed, Mann wasnt right for the job and he knew it. This happens all over the place, so what? Nimble simply announced more than perhaps it should.

    Look at the EMC/Pure changes in the UK this week. Not getting the same kind of press yet Pure have hardly been angels.

    Nimble has really cool technology and its file system and support are tip top so whilst this is irksome, the company will learn from it and its customers wont care because they get good stuff at decent prices. We'll all have forgotten about this next week and as long at the company keeps growing and the product continues to deliver then everyone will be happy in the end.

    Move along now people, nothing more to see and with the days getting longer, we should all be out enjoying ourselves anyway rather than being keyboard warriors.

    Over and out.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LMAO...

    A Nimble CxO must be trolling this articles comments .. every Nimble-negative comment has exactly 1 downvote!

    1. TheDrunkenBakers

      Re: LMAO...

      Or perhaps some people dont agree with the flaming.

  7. Rulon

    Years ago, certain enlightened CEO's in the IT industry realized that employees were most productive when they had a reasonable work-like balance and the time and energy to make properly considered decisions. Nowadays that philosophy seems to have gone the way of the Dodo bird. In many companies, managers are expected to put in extremely long hours, to travel constantly, and to make aggressive, snap decisions even when it comes to filling critical positions. And this is what you get.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazing what IPO cash can do.

    Here is what should concern investors. The CEO has apparently made enough money via the IPO to continue the absolutely reckless and irresponsible handling of this situation. It appears as though he and his inner circle are so insulated from the sting of bad decisions that they just don't care.

    So do I put my money in their hands by buying their stock?

    I don't trust them. They appear to have declared victory after the first half of the game. Feasting on the dead carcass that is the SAN market can only get you so far. Maybe they realize that they have taken the company as far as it can go?

    What else can explain the arrogance? Any thoughts?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Amazing what IPO cash can do.

      What arrogance? Give me evidence for your claim.

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