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Get to Know: Tim Klein, President, CEO and Co-founder of ATTO Technology

Get to Know: Tim Klein, President, CEO and Co-founder of ATTO Technology

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On the lighter side of things, we ask Tim Klein, President, CEO and Co-founder of ATTO Technology what makes him tick.

What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?

I have been blessed that I have been able to pursue and realise many achievements in my life. Some small, some big, but they are all part of the overall story of my life. My wife would say it is the day that she accepted my marriage proposal and she is probably right. But with respect to ATTO, which I founded when I was 26 years old, I would have to say the most memorable event was the very first sale we ever made.

Tim Klein, President, CEO and Co-founder of ATTO Technology

It was the validation of the dream that we could make something better that others would benefit from and get paid real money for it. So many things have branched from that moment. After all of this time I still get excited when our customers place a high value in the great products our team creates for them. And while it is no longer a singular event, the continuous excitement is still the most memorable achievement.

What first made you think of a career in technology?

I have always been fascinated with electronics and technology in general. When I was in high school, personal computers were just starting to come out and I wanted to learn more and more about them. Interestingly, I also researched the top fortune 500 companies and found that the CEOs tended to have an engineering background and thus my path was set.

What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?

My management style has changed directions multiple times based on both my personal maturity as well as what I believe the company needs at the time. Companies change and evolve, sometimes with very senior experienced people, sometimes with more younger energic people who need more guidance. Even teams within the company can have different personalities and need different management styles and approaches as well. Thus, my philosophy is to build strong learning teams, sharing my knowledge and experience while being flexible in learning new things.

What do you think has emerged as the technology trend of 2021 and why?

Working in the compute and storage segments, I see more applications for the Internet of Things (IOT) where an increasing number of everyday devices are becoming smarter and smarter, requiring more processing and storage capabilities than ever before. As more people are relying on technology to make their lives easier, companies that can deliver faster access to that information with the least effort will drive the future.

What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?

Focusing on the storage segment, we continue to see much larger investments in storage and compute disaggregation where companies are looking to expand their infrastructure to achieve the best economics and meet their performance needs. Sometimes companies need to expand their storage capacity at rates faster than compute – sometimes the other way around. Building out flexibility into architectures is becoming even more important.

The other area that we see significant investment occurring in the world of storage is the transition from traditional hard drives (HDDs) to Solid-State Drives (SSDs). The cost/benefit ratio of SSDs has changed the dynamics of primary storage. As systems get upgraded, this is one of the main areas for investments in storage.

How do you deal with stress and unwind outside of the office?

Currently I have an active family with late teens and college level children who keep me quite distracted when home. Along with a good routine of exercise, golf and time with close friends generally allows me to relax.

If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?

I would have listened more when I was younger and taken more advantage of the great advice that I had the privilege of receiving from some of the best in the industry. Much wisdom was bestowed, but my youth sometimes discounted it. Wow – I sound like my dad!

What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Europe?

Modern communication technologies have made the world smaller, but it’s still fair to say distance, culture and language present challenges for anybody trying to participate in markets far from their own. Fortunately, we have great partners who help us in a variety of ways and, again, technology has overcome a lot of the challenges global companies had faced in the past.

What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?

I think the pandemic has changed quite a bit of things in the world and has made my role at ATTO more dynamic. Our team was very flexible and responded to remote work far better than I would have imagined. My team, like many others, had to deal with not only working challenges but a significant disruption in their personal lives. Dealing with fear, uncertainty and constantly changing environments in all aspects of our lives have made the members of my team stronger and much more resilient in the face of such adversity.

For me personally, not only was I concerned for my own family, but also my team, their families and the company. As things seem to be settling down, it’s clear that the world in which we live and work is much different. I see my role as rebuilding our desire for personal interaction and the sense of community within the company and among our team members. Working with the team to build on our ability to collaborate while providing more flexibility in our work environment is going to be one of my main roles as CEO over the next 12 months. I am excited as we start the next chapter with the team.

What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain C-level position in your industry?

Learn, learn, learn and never stop learning. However, knowledge without the passion to improve every day isn’t going to take you to the next level. And, while passion is what drives success, it’s the execution that makes you successful!

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