Virtuozzo names former IBM exec George Karidis as new CEO

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Virtuozzo has announced a new chief executive: 48-year old former SoftLayer and IBM Corp. executive George Karidis, who assumes his first CEO role.

Virtuozzo came into being as a standalone company after spinning out of Parallels International GmbH last year. It offers a complete portfolio of open-source and commercial virtualization products, including an optimized KVM hypervisor, software-defined storage and container offerings.

The growth of virtualization, cloud and now containers has made enterprise information technology increasingly complex. As such, it’s difficult for a company like Virtuozzo to accurately position its products, which are essentially competing against the hypervisor offerings of companies like VMware Inc. and others. And that’s what Karidis intends to work on, he said in an interview with Geekwire.

“The focus for me over the next few months is locking in our message,” the new CEO said. “We have to show why our view of the world is different and why our enterprise accounts have adopted our technology — for the isolation, the security, the ability to control how elements get deployed in a much more seamless way (than with hypervisors).”

To that end, Karidis is hoping to leverage the renewed energy and buzz around software containers to expose his new company to different partners, and get its virtualization products into new hands.

“The container phenomenon has opened up a huge and disruptive opportunity in the virtualization market, and Virtuozzo is at the heart of it with its proven, production-ready containers, and new solutions for virtual machines and storage,” Karidis said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to join the team and look forward to the journey ahead with our people, partners and customers.”

Prior to joining Virtuozzo, Karidis served as president of cloud technology services at CompuCom Systems Inc. He ran the firm’s cloud business unit for around 18 months after leaving IBM, which he joined when Big Blue acquired SoftLayer back in 2013. At SoftLayer, Karidis served as the company’s chief operating officer and chief strategy officer.