Another Top Executive Is Out At Troubled, Newly Public Company Violin Memory


Violin Memory NYSE

Violin Memory

Violin Memory IPOs on the NYSE

Another top executive is out at Violin Memory, the enterprise storage startup that went public three months ago in a dreadful IPO.


On Thursday, the company announced that its COO, Dixon Doll Jr., stepped down.

In the past few weeks, the company fired its CEO, Don Basile, and confirmed to Business Insider that CTO Jonathan Goldrick was out, too.

Violin went public in September. It raised $162 million by selling shares for $9, but on opening day the stock fell to about $7. Then, for its first public earnings in November, the company reported a loss of $0.66 per share and an adjusted loss of $0.85 per share. Analysts had expected a loss of $0.44 per share.

Multiple Wall Street analysts downgraded the stock, share prices plunged to about $3, shareholder lawsuits started flying, and now executive heads are getting cut.


Doll, like Basile, came from rival Fusion-io, an enterprise storage company that's in the midst of its own struggles now.

Dixon Doll Jr.


Dixon Doll Jr.

Doll was set up with a decent golden parachute. His severance plan included $450,000 cash, and at least $4.1 million in stock, plus the company promised to pick up $10,000 worth of his health insurance, according to documents filed with the SEC.

By the way, Besile's golden parachute wasn't too bad either. It included $900,000 in cash, $11.2 million in stock and $30,600 for health insurance, those same SEC documents show.

The big winner of Violin's implosion is rival company Nimble Storage.

Nimble had a great IPO in December, with the initial $21 price popping as high as $35 on opening day and now trading at over $46.


These companies play in a hot new area called enterprise flash storage systems, (also called solid state drives). Flash storage is a hardware product installed in a corporate data center that uses flash memory to store documents and other data. Flash is the same technology used in thumb drives and smartphones and is faster, but more expensive, than traditional hard drives.

There are a lot of startups offering this tech in various formats. But the big companies, EMC, Dell, HP, Hitachi, are all jumping in, too, making it a tough market these days for young companies.