Kaseya says ‘false information’ was published about firm’s future

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Kaseya says ‘false information’ was published about firm’s future
Kathy Wagner (Kaseya)

Kaseya Chief Financial Officer Kathy Wagner cleared the air Monday morning and said that there will be “zero changes” to Datto employee benefits after Datto founder Austin McChord posted on social media that Kaseya was making detrimental changes to the company.

McChord, who is a former CEO of Datto, in a GitHub post accused Kaseya of destroying the Datto culture and making significant changes to employee benefits such as reducing 401(k) matches, maternity/paternity leave and paid time off. The post came two weeks after Kaseya completed its $6.2 billion acquisition of Datto arguably making it the top software vendor in the channel. He said he spoke out due to “many members” of the Datto team reaching out “deeply dismayed” by the Kaseya changes.

Wagner’s internal email was shared on Reddit to ease employee concerns and to set the record straight.

“Unfortunately, over the weekend, there was some false information published on social media about your future at Kaseya,” Wagner wrote in the letter. “This information was ‘based’ on information from secondary sources possibly derived from interpretation of what our CEO, Fred Voccola, said at several town halls this past week addressing our Datto employees.

“First, there are zero changes to the benefits of all Datto. Period,” she wrote. “To address the specific concerns that were published online, there is no reduction in 401K match, no change/reduction in maternity/paternity leave benefits, nor changes/reductions in PTO for any Datto employees. This was very clearly stated by Fred at both the Boston and Norwalk town halls, the FAQs that were sent when the deal officially closed and is being reiterated again here in this email.

“Fred also directly stated that the culture of offices being gathering spots for employees, events, social and community time, etc. will not only be reinstated but increased, as office locations being meeting places for employees and community service is a staple of pre-Datto Kaseya culture.”

She also said there is no goal of reducing expenses by 30 percent, as McChord alleged, or any targeted number.

“As Fred mentioned, there are zero mass layoffs planned. I repeat, we will not come in one morning and cut the team by X percent, that is NOT happening,” she said.

There may be cuts due to redundancy of jobs, she said, using Voccola’s example of Datto CEO Tim Weller leaving, as the company does not need two CEOs.

“However, as was clearly stated by Fred, the plan for the acquisition of Datto was to increase the investment in the products, technology, and customer support and success, not reduce them,” Wagner said. “The financial business case for Kaseya acquiring Datto was one of value creation through GROWTH as opposed to a financial business case of value creation through cost synergies. Growth is obtained via investment. As Fred clearly stated, we as a combined entity are looking to add over 1,400 employees over the next 12 months. That is the exact opposite of any broad-based reductions in our workforce. Those are the facts.”

CRN US reached out to both Kaseya and McChord for comment.

“Change is difficult,” Wagner said. “As human beings, we are wired to resist change. However, change is something that is constant in life, and more often than not, change leads to progress. The acquisition of Datto by Kaseya creates tremendous opportunities for employees as well as customers. The combined company now spends over one BILLION dollars a year on “stuff” (people, technology, etc.) and that stuff will allow our company to deliver the best technology to our customers, with the absolute best customer service that will enable our MSPs to be the most successful MSPs in the world. In doing that, we are creating massive life-changing opportunities for thousands upon thousands of employees of our company; financial opportunities, professional growth opportunities, etc.

“If you have any questions about your future at Kaseya, or need more clarification of facts, please reach out to your managers, or directly to the executive team member who oversees your respective departments. Or me.”

Mark Essayian, president of Lake Forest, Calif.-based MSP KME Systems and both a Datto and Kaseya partner, said McChord was “well within his right” to say what he said, although he got the information secondhand.

“I absolutely respect what he did. I absolutely respect that he’s upset,” Essayian said of McChord’s post. “He doesn’t want to run a company that way. But the hard fact is he sold it.”

He doesn’t think Kaseya will ruin Datto’s culture because “it’s too much money.”

And although he respected McChord’s actions, he would have gone about it a different way.

“I might have reached out to Kaseya and said, ‘Hey, what‘s going on?’ But that’s my management style,” he said. “Is this actually serving the partner on either side? No, it’s actually making us have distrust across the board. Welcome to the ugliness of M&A.” 

 

This article originally appeared at crn.com

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