Overland’s Ordeal: Turnaround Continues as New Management Team Sets New Course, Readies New Products

11/15/10Follow @bvbigelow

Not too long ago, I got a chance to talk with Jillian Mansolf, who joined San Diego’s Overland Storage (NASDAQ: OVRL) as vice president of global sales and marketing about 18 months ago. A few days earlier, Overland had disclosed its acquisition of Sunnyvale, CA-based MaxiScale, a three-year-old data storage startup, a deal that prompted me to seek an update from the company.

Once again, though, I was struck by the long ordeal Overland has faced since 2005, when the company lost its single biggest customer. Hewlett-Packard had decided to phase out its business with Overland, which served as the manufacturer of tape-based data storage equipment made and sold under the HP brand.

Six years ago, HP accounted for more than half of Overland’s revenue—which totaled $235 million in fiscal 2005. Filings for Overland’s fiscal 2010, which ended June 27, show that HP represented 22.5 percent of Overland’s total net revenue, which had plunged to $77.7 million. The loss of HP’s business, Mansolf said, “changed the whole perspective of the business model for the company” and required significant restructuring. “That truly has been the balancing act over the past two to four years.”

Mansolf, who previously worked at Data Robotics, Dell Computer, and Maxtor, is part of the management team that Eric Kelly assembled after he stepped in as CEO in January 2009. Kelly joined … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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