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Austin McChord Steps Down as Datto CEO

McChord, who founded the BDR and managed services powerhouse 11 years ago as an undergraduate, will be succeeded by president and COO Tim Weller during the search for a successor. He will retain a seat on Datto’s board. By Rich Freeman

Datto Inc. CEO Austin McChord has resigned as head of the BDR company he founded while still an undergraduate in 2007 and then built into a managed services powerhouse.

Tim Weller, the Norwalk, Conn.-based company’s president and COO, will lead strategic and daily operations during the search for a new chief executive. McChord will remain a member of Datto’s board of directors and a major shareholder in the company.

“This move is part of a natural evolution for the company and for me,” said McChord in a press statement. “Datto was my first passion, and I’m looking forward to focusing my efforts on providing strategic counsel and support now that the company is in a market-leading position. I will also take part in the executive search for the right CEO as my successor.”

McChord was still studying at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) when he launched Datto. Last October, he sold the company to private investor Vista Equity Partners and merged it with managed services software maker Autotask for an undisclosed sum. The resulting company is an industry giant with products spanning from onsite and cloud backup solutions to file sync and share software, RMM and PSA platforms, networking hardware, managed power devices, and beyond.

“I founded Datto 11 years ago in a basement. What started out as an entrepreneurial dream, has grown into a team of 1,400 employees serving more than 14,000 Managed Service Providers with reach in 132 countries,” said McChord in his press statement. “I’m proud of the company we have built and our commitment to the MSPs we serve. Datto is positioned better than ever to continue serving partners and growing.”

In June, at the North American edition of its annual DattoCon partner event, McChord told listeners to his keynote address that the opportunity ahead for MSPs is “massive.” SMBs generate some $40 billion in IT spending today, he said, of which perhaps 50 percent involves an MSP. Datto will help partners expand that figure in three ways, he added: “an open and broad portfolio, an absolutely obsessive MSP focus, and…groundbreaking technology.”

“Austin’s legacy provides a sound foundation for Datto today and sets high ambitions for our future,” said Weller in prepared remarks. “Datto’s opportunity is not just to lead the industry but to redefine it. Our mission has always been to help our partners solve high-priority technical problems and to make complex IT simple. I look forward to working with the board and Austin as we enter this next phase of growth and opportunity for our company.”

The day Datto’s sale to Vista closed, McChord donated $50 million to his alma mater, which he graduated from in 2009. It was the largest financial gift in RIT’s history.

“Austin has built a truly special company that is poised for tremendous growth,” said Nadeem Syed, operating principal at Vista Equity Partners, in today’s press release. “While it is always difficult when a founder moves on from a company he built, we are truly grateful for what Austin has created. We look forward to working with him in his capacity as a board member and advisor as we move into this next phase.”

McChord will deliver a keynote next week at the European edition of DattoCon, in Barcelona.

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