Former InternetNZ boss appointed Mega CEO
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Vikram Kumar, who resigned as head of InternetNZ last month, has been appointed the new CEO of Kim Dotcom’s web service Mega.
Mega’s interim CEO Tony Lentino, owner of Instra Corporation and shareholder at Mega, will maintain a seat as a director with Mega.
“In addition to running the Instra business, I am happy to work alongside other Mega executives, combining our abilities to create a global success”, Lentino says in a statement issued by Mega yesterday evening.
“I have assisted Mega since its inception, putting time and energy into finding investors, setting up support staff and general overview of the company in its initial stage. Now Mega runs on a day-to-day routine and I am pleased to hand the role of CEO to Vikram who is an experienced leader in the internet industry.”
Kumar says since the company launched two weeks ago, two million subscribers have joined mega.co.nz.
In his blog he explains what led to his decision to take up the new role: “I hadn’t met Kim before and so went to “the mansion” to meet the Mega team (Kim, Mathias, Finn, and Bram) in mid-Jan. The next week Mega launched with extensive media coverage. All of this provided the opportunity to look at Mega from every angle. Many, many hours of thinking later, I decided to take on this challenging role.”
He writes that among his reasons for joining Mega are the opportunity to join an internet start-up that “comes with a whole new set of challenges (exponential growth while cash is heavily constrained) but has the terrific atmosphere of constant energy, urgency and innovation.”
He also says “the value Mega promotes align with my own - openness, innovation, privacy, and security.”
Following his departure from InternetNZ last month Kumar told Computerworld his next career move would be in a role that looks wider than the policy side of the internet. “something involved with using the internet, with innovation or social enterprise."
Update 10am: Cautious reaction
When Vikram Kumar made up his mind to leave InternetNZ, a position with Kim Dotcom’s new company Mega was not in his mind at all, he says.
“Kim got in touch with me after I left InternetNZ. My initial reaction was caution, understandably.” There had been a lot of media coverage, with Dotcom’s flamboyant personality at the forefront and this justified a cautious approach, he says.
“So I spent time with Kim and the rest of the team, looking at the operation very carefully. It was only when I was convinced that their intentions are to be a 100 percent legitimate file storage company that I accepted the offer.”
He hadn’t considered the CEO role at Mega at all before Dotcom approached him, he says; “I was looking at other opportunities.” But having made sure the operation was bona fide, Kumar finds a number of positive aspects to the Mega venture. “It’s a New Zealand company with a global customer base, a start-up whose launch was quite successful.”
He acknowledges there are still “challenging perceptions” among the public as to Mega’s legitimacy, but in time he trusts these will diminish. The Mega team as a whole are “extremely capable and good people to get along with,” he says.
So if their new venture doesn't include this business model, then what is it? Yet another cloud provider offering free storage? Ho-hum....
Would you trust this organisation with your critical data? As much as I like Kim Dotcom as a personality, I have to say, I wouldn't.
Unless they have something pretty amazing yet to pull out of a hat or they're not telling the whole truth about their intentions, how is this thing going to make any money?
Posted by John at 22:41:10 on February 9, 2013
Posted by Anonymous at 11:14:12 on February 10, 2013
Posted by John Harrop at 15:02:18 on February 8, 2013
Posted by Anonymous at 11:55:07 on February 8, 2013
Posted by Joel Wirāmu at 11:40:42 on February 8, 2013
Posted by Anonymous at 22:36:26 on February 8, 2013
Posted by Anome of Zurich at 16:03:06 on February 8, 2013
Posted by Anonymous at 17:41:20 on February 8, 2013
Re Mega's NZ operations, product development and tech work on the service is done by Mathias and Bram out of Auckland. Finn is the marketing guy, also based in Auckland. Customer support, billing, and some admin work is handled by Instra out of Napier. I am based in Wellington.
Currently, the servers are based in Germany. There was a definite push to have some servers in NZ from launch but that plan had to be abandoned as the cost of international bandwidth (wholesale price on the Southern Cross Cable) was prohibitive.
So Mega's operations are run out of NZ and it would do even more if it was economical to do so.
Posted by Vikram Kumar at 6:59:22 on February 9, 2013
Posted by Anonymous at 16:20:32 on February 9, 2013