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Fusion-io CEO resigns, is replaced by former HP executive Robison

The flash storage company's co-founder and chief marketing officer has also resigned

Fusion-io President and CEO David Flynn has resigned and will be replaced by Shane Robison, the former CTO of Hewlett-Packard.

Flynn resigned effective immediately "to pursue entrepreneurial investing activities," according to a news release on Wednesday from Fusion-io. The company's co-founder and chief marketing officer, Rick White, has also resigned, Fusion-io said.

Robison has been named chairman, CEO and president, effective immediately. Robison has been on Fusion-io's board of directors since 2011. From 2002 until 2011, he was executive vice president and chief strategy and technology officer at HP, and before that he held a similar position at Compaq Computer, which HP acquired in 2002. Fusion-io cited his industry relationships, international experience and understanding of the company's business in naming him to the top posts.

Fusion-io was a pioneer in flash storage cards for use inside servers, a technology some other vendors have since embraced. The cards are designed to work as caches for the data in highest demand, which can accelerate some applications. Fusion-io counts high-profile Web companies such as Facebook among its customers.

However, the company reported a net loss of US$20 million on lower revenue for its fiscal third quarter ended March 31, and its stock price has fallen significantly since last October. On Wednesday, Fusion-io reaffirmed its forecast for an operating loss of about $5 million for the current quarter. In midday trading on Wednesday, after the management changes were announced, the stock was down $3.99 at $14.01, a drop of more than 20 percent.

Flynn and White will remain on Fusion-io's board and will serve in advisory roles for the next 12 months, the company said.

In Robison, 59, Fusion-io gets a seasoned executive with long industry experience. One possible black mark on his record is HP's $10.3 billion acquisition of software company Autonomy in 2011, for which the company later took a charge of $8.8 billion related to alleged accounting improprieties. Robison retired from HP in October 2011, the same month the Autonomy deal closed.

Robison holds bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science from the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, where Fusion-io is based. In addition to HP and Compaq, he has held executive positions at AT&T Labs, Cadence Design Systems and Apple.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com


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