Jul 8, 2021

People Moves: Andrei Aksenov, IXcellerate’s new Russian CEO

2 min
Andrei Aksenov
Andrei Aksenov has taken the reins of Russian data centre operator IXcellerate from company founder and Chairman Guy Willner. 

IXcellerate, one of the largest, fastest-growing private builders and operators of hyperscale data centre infrastructure in Russia, has a new boss. Andrei Aksenov, a seasoned telecom executive, has taken over from the company’s founder and chairman, Guy Willner, as CEO. 

The announcement follows a decision by the company’s shareholders and board of directors to localise senior management positions within Russia itself (Willner is based in the UK), due to the company’s steep growth trajectory and “ambitious development plans” in the Russian market. 

Aksenov has reportedly been charged with delivering on two key pillars in his role: the implementation of IXcellerate’s long-term strategy (which Willner hinted may include an IPO in the next few years) and the continued delivery of services to meet IXcellerate’s customers’ growth requirements. 

By 2023, IXcellerate plans to have captured 25% of the Russian commercial data centre market. At the beginning of 2020, IXcellerate held an approximate share of 8.8% in the Russian market, and its growth trajectory since then has consistently outperformed the rest of the Russian sector - which is dominated by major overseas brands like Equinix and CoreSite, as well as the megalithic state-owned operator Rostelecom - by around 50% in terms of growth. 

Outgoing CEO and company founder, Guy Willner, will continue to lead IXcellerate as Chairman of the board, and will mostly focus on strategy development, building investor and international client relationships. 

“We valued Andrei's extensive experience, management skills and leadership qualities and we expect that with his help the company will deliver all its plans, including a possible listing in the next 2-4 years,” Willner added in a statement to the press, adding that “a Russian entity should be run by a person, who lives in Russia full time, knows the market intimately well and keeps his finger on its pulse.” 

Aksenov commented that he was “excited” to apply his previous experience to the new role in “such a promising industry as the data centre”. He added: “I will do my best to justify the trust placed in me.” 

Aksenov has spent the past eight years as the boss of Russian carrier Strela Telecom, working in regional hubs throughout Russia. 

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Aug 2, 2021

Microsoft hyperscale plans prompt Lab3 New Zealand launch

2 min
The launch of Lab3 in New Zealand is in response to surging cloud demand and Microsoft’s hyperscale data centre investment.

Lab3, an Australian cloud migration specialist, has announced it is launching in New Zealand after being prompted by a surge in demand for cloud services and Microsoft’s investment into hyperscale data centres. 

The company, which was founded in 2017, has appointed David Boyes as Chief Executive Officer and Rich Anderson as Chief Operating Officer. According to Companies Office records, Boyes and Anderson each have a 10% share in Lab3’s New Zealand business.  Commenting on cloud migration, Boyes said: “Across New Zealand, in government and every industry sector, organisations are looking to migrate to the cloud to modernise their technology environments.” He added that the Coronavirus pandemic was fuelling a “ need to tap into the power of data, facilitate remote work and meet public expectations of a virtual world.”

Chris Cook, Group CEO of Lab3 said the business was "first and foremost about client success" which drives the company’s product innovation and motivation to expand into New Zealand. “We look forward to working closely with Microsoft to deliver more for New Zealand clients,” he said.

Microsoft’s New Zealand hyperscale data centre investment plan

Microsoft’s investment into a hyperscale data centre region in New Zealand meant the resulting facilities will aim to provide several organisations with access to the security and scalability of a public cloud without sending data offshore.

Vanessa Sorenson, Managing Director of Microsoft New Zealand, said: “We’ve seen a tremendous acceleration in cloud migration over the past year as organisations have responded to global disruption and conversely, recognised the global opportunities a digital operation brings. 

“Our research with IDC shows public cloud technologies are set to create 102,000 local jobs and add [NZ]$30 billion to the New Zealand economy over the next four years, so we’re delighted to welcome a partner of LAB3’s calibre to New Zealand, to help more organisations realise those gains even faster," she added. 

Lab3’s clients include several fintech organisations, a global software vendor, Australian federal and state government agencies, and insurance and banking corporations. The company employs over 200 staff and has three advanced specialisations across migrations, Azure virtual desktop, and security. 


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