Ken Klein is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Tintri, a leader in enterprise cloud. A software industry veteran with over 25 years of experience, he was previously Chairman, CEO, and President of Wind River where he was responsible for the management of 1,900 employees and nearly $400 million in revenue.
Before that, Ken served as Chief Operating Officer and a Board member of Mercury Interactive for 12 years. Klein and his team built Mercury from a pre-revenue startup into a software powerhouse with a peak market capitalization of $15 billion, 2,150 employees, operations in 35 countries, and membership in the NASDAQ 100 and S&P 500.
Klein earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Southern California. He is a USC Distinguished Alumnus, member of the USC School of Engineering Board of Councilors, founder of USC’s Klein Institute for Undergraduate Engineering Life (KIUEL), and a USC Trustee.
How would you describe your job?
As CEO, it’s my responsibility to establish clear direction and priorities for the company. At Tintri, that’s about strengthening our position as a leading enterprise cloud platform. Specifically, we’re focused on delivering product innovations on time, expanding our awareness in a noisy market, and scaling our operations.
What’s the ‘elevator speech’ for Tintri?
Tintri’s enterprise cloud platform allows organizations to deploy an AWS-like cloud with the control of cost, service levels and security only possible in their data center.
How is Tintri different from competitors, or what’s unique about Tintri?
Comparing other platforms to Tintri is like comparing a city bus to an autonomous limousine. Other storage piles applications into a city bus. They all travel the same route, even though it’s not efficient for any one of them. There are stops along the way and so speed is unpredictable. Tintri is like giving every application its own autonomous limousine. It moves them around as efficiently and rapidly as possible—they get dedicated resources and it’s all hands-free.
What’s some advice you’d offer to entrepreneurs or startups?
Be transparent about your priorities. At Tintri, I write my priorities on my office window in large block letters. Employees, plus visiting customers and partners, can all see what’s on my mind at any given moment. We also discuss those same priorities in our company all-hands meetings. It helps ensure we stay focused and aligned.
What are some new developments for the company?
Tintri recently rang the opening bell at Nasdaq’s market site and became a publicly-traded company. It was a great moment for the company—the culmination of our efforts to develop new products and delight our customers. But it’s only a marker along our journey; we know there’s a lot more opportunity in the enterprise cloud market, and so we’re right back to work.
Feature image source: Fortune