Jeremy Jaech Leaves CEO Post at Seattle’s Verdiem

3/15/11Follow @curtwoodward

[Updated March 21 with comment from Jaech, see below] Longtime Northwest tech entrepreneur Jeremy Jaech has left the chief executive post at Seattle-based Verdiem, Xconomy has learned. Experienced tech entrepreneur and executive John Scumniotales, now heading the company as president and CEO, says the change was amicable and will allow Verdiem to move more aggressively as it seeks to broaden its footprint in the IT energy management market.

Verdiem blends cleantech and computing by making software to monitor energy consumption and turn off computers when they’re not being used. We covered Jaech’s hiring at Verdiem in late 2008. Jaech was the co-founder of software powerhouses Aldus and Visio. More recently, he’d worked as CEO of Trumba and a director at RealNetworks.

Scumniotales’ resume includes a stint as a vice president at Pacific Edge Software, which was acquired by Serena Software. Scumniotales says he’d been working with Jaech for the past year and a half on company direction and strategy, and the board, company and Jaech agreed it was time to make the change.

The decision was tied in part to Jaech’s wide array of commitments outside his day-to-day work, including service with company boards and other organizations, Scumniotales says.

“There’s no real fundamental change to the direction of the company, to the mission and vision around IT energy management,” Scumniotales says. “If anything, you’ll see kind of more rapid innovation and product delivery under my leadership.”

Scumniotales says one of his main areas of focus will be delivering a Verdiem-branded product that expands the company’s energy management focus beyond individual computers and into other types of IT hardware, such as switches and routers. It’s already been available from Verdiem partner Cisco, but Scumniotales says Verdiem built the underlying technology and is excited to offer the expanded service under its own label.

That’s a big move for Verdiem, allowing it to branch out horizontally within IT networks. “It really broadens the business out from a PC power management-focused company to really an IT energy management-focused company,” he says.

Scumniotales says he also continues to see opportunities for overall growth in the field, with the expansion of  IT energy use outpacing even the latest gains in efficiency improvements. Verdiem currently serves about 600 customers, totaling about 1.6 million individual computers, Scumniotales says.

[Update] I spoke with Jaech about a week later for another story and asked about his immediate plans. Ed Lazowska and the folks at the University of Washington computer science department were happy to welcome the UW alum back to campus and have set Jaech up with an office while he figures out what he’d like to focus on. Jaech says he’s planning on taking some of his past lessons from successful businesses and seek out areas where emerging technological platforms present innovation opportunities. An example might be the work on low-power sensors that professor Shwetak Patel and others have done at UW. It’s not a job, necessarily—I said it sounded something like “thinker in residence” and Jaech said he liked that description, so we’ll go with that for a title.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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