It's been over three months since Kirill Tatarinov became the CEO of Citrix. Now that we're past the 90-day mark, people have started asking me what I think about him or what I've heard. I can only answer them with, "I have no idea?"
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Tatarinov's tweets haven't given us a clue, with only 25 tweets since he began, half of which are not about the company and the other half which are the generic "Go team!" kind of stuff.
Since he started, we've only seen two interviews—both around the same time—one from my colleague Bridget Botelho and the other from John Dix at NetworkWorld. Neither of these was particularly insightful. We learned things like Citrix's four focus areas are virtualization, mobilty, networking, and... file sharing? (Okay maybe that's insightful because file sharing is a weird core area of focus. "Have you heard of Dropbox or Box? We're like that, though you bring your own servers, and we're much more expensive but with fewer features and far fewer users." I'm paraphrasing.)
Both interviews are remarkable for how dull and generic they are. Citrix is motel art and Tatarinov is talking about it like he's Bob Ross. If you didn't read the interviews, you missed out on insights such as:
"And now, as we plan for the future, we are embracing new ways people can access their virtualized apps and desktops through the cloud."
"We have an enterprise mobility management suite called XenMobile."
"The networking business is also a category we’re excited about because of independent go-to-market initiatives."
In the interviews, Tartarinov essentially said that his analysis of the company is not yet complete, that he doesn't have a specific 100-day plan milestone, and that we'll hear more at Synergy.
So while I'm *really* looking forward to Synergy this year, let's be honest: there is zero chance this guy isn't a hatchet man who was brought in by the board (and Elliot) to slash, cut, sell, and package up the company for sale. The fact that he came from Microsoft is a happy accident. It makes it easier to claim they brought in a guy with deep industry experience from a key Citrix partner who's going to be all "strategic" or whatever, but really his job is a get the books in shape. Six months ago I wrote there was a "zero percent chance Citrix will be an independent company by the end of 2017", and I still stand by that.
Kirill was not brought in to reinvent the company. He was brought in to clear out the clutter, paint the walls, and get this company ready for its listing. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, by the way, but when it comes to vision about where the company is headed, keep looking.