Geek of the Week: Adrian Ionel

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Is it Sunday yet? Why, yes it is, and you know what that means: Geek of the Week! This week’s winner was another difficult choice, however for different reasons than other weeks. This week’s winner competed against someone in their own organization, and it came down to the wire! How so? Allow us to explain:
On the one hand, we have a founder/serial entrepreneur who was primarily responsible for the financial stability of the company over the years and its early successes as well. On the other hand, we have a CEO of about six years who took over this position from the former and has since led the company’s vision, strategy, and overall development and execution. Both of these people were likely equally important to what their company pulled off this week. Okay, we will stop with the suspense already, especially since we can go on and on about these two individuals.
This week’s Geek of the Week winner is Adrian Ionel, CEO of Mirantis!
For those readers who may have missed it, Mirantis recently received a whopping $100 million in funding from various investors such as Intel. As stated, Mr. Ionel has been responsible for Mirantis’s vision, strategy, development and execution over the past six years. Not to be forgotten though, Alex Freedland is a Mirantis co-founder and its current President. According to the Mirantis website, Mr. Freedland is a serial entrepreneur and also guided the company through a number of equity and debt financing rounds. However, there could only be one winner. Though Mr. Freedland still likely played a very large role, Adrian Ionel’s vision, strategy and execution was the deciding factor in why he won this week.
So how did Mirantis pull off $100 million in funding? Is it just another round of founding in the new ‘dot com’ era where any cloud related company seems to pull off investment money or is this something truly unique? We believe it’s the latter. Mirantis is the number one pure play OpenStack company. The problem is OpenStack is considered difficult to use. The idea for this $100 million investment is to make OpenStack easier to use for the average IT organization. With larger OpenStack deployments, an organization can acquire an indefinite amount of moving parts. When an OpenStack cloud starts to grow, the tasks required to maintain the health of your organization’s cloud can require IT staff to stay late and acquire larger staffs. Mirantis’s goal is to be able to have an organization install OpenStack and have it be able to deploy up to 2,000 nodes automatically.
As for Adrian Ionel: prior to Mirantis Adrian was CEO, Chairman and co-founder of eOnline, VP and General Manager EMEA at Qualys and Venture Partner at Trident Capital. He earned a MSEE degree from the University of Erlagen-Nuernberg and spent his early years in R&D and product management.
Congratulations Adrian!