Citrix Taps Former Microsoft Dynamics Chief Tatarinov As CEO, But Partners Underwhelmed

Citrix Systems has tapped former Microsoft executive Kirill Tatarinov as its new president and CEO, the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based vendor said Wednesday.
Tatarinov spent 13 years at Microsoft before leaving last June as part of an executive management reshuffling. As executive vice president of the $2 billion Microsoft Business Solutions division, he was in charge of the software giant’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ERP businesses.
Tatarinov, who will also take a seat on Citrix’s board of directors, starts his new role Jan. 25.
Citrix had been looking for a new CEO since last July, when longtime CEO Mark Templeton announced his retirement and said he’d stay on until a new leader was found. Templeton left the company in October, and Bob Calderoni, executive chairman of Citrix’s board of directors, stepped in as interim CEO.
“They didn’t have anything new to talk about [at the Summit conference]. The message was basically, ‘Take what we have now and sell it to new people,’ ” said the partner.
We’ve reached out to Citrix for comment on the partners’ concerns and will update this story if we hear back.
Some Citrix partners would also like to see better communication from the vendor.
Citrix said on Jan. 11 — the same day the Summit began — that it’s selling its CloudPlatform and CloudPortal Business Manager products to Persistent Systems, an India-based cloud computing vendor. Citrix announced the deal in a blog post that day, but didn’t mention it in the opening keynote at the Summit, partners told CRN.
Citrix’s sale of CloudPlatform came as surprise to at least one partner who’d spent the past several months working on a deal involving the technology.
“Giving partners a go-forward plan at this time would be a good thing for Citrix to do,” Charles Kanavel, CEO of The Kanavel Group, a San Jose, Calif.-based Citrix partner, told CRN. “Selling CloudPlatform and not telling anyone at the Citrix Summit is maybe not the best way to handle that.”
Although Citrix is still a major player in desktop and server virtualization, many channel partners believe the company has become overly diversified and less focused on core businesses. Elliott Management, an activist investor that owns around 7.5 percent of its shares, shares this view.
In July, Citrix named Jesse Cohn, senior portfolio manager at Elliott Management, to its board of directors as part of a standstill agreement.
Elliott Management had been pressuring Citrix to sell or spin off non-core properties and make other sweeping changes to its business. Citrix said in November that it would spin off its Go To line of SaaS apps into a separate, publicly traded company.

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