“Fire the auditor!” Three words that Quantum CFO Mike Dodson vowed would never cross his lips were now being spoken aloud by Quantum’s board.
“Fire these guys!” was the message that Dodson received after weeks of personally rejecting the notion.
“We had been delisted, we were in the middle of a multiyear restatement, and there were lender issues,” recalls Dodson, listing the action items that needed to be addressed to regain credibility with Quantum’s investors and lenders.Read More
“In the middle of all of this, the last thing that you want to do is to fire the auditor and start over,” observes Dodson, while summoning up past experiences that seemed to counter the logic behind dismissing Quantum’s auditor.
“I was sticking to my guns,” reports Dodson, who, along with Quantum’s chief accountant, doubled back in hope of getting deeper insight into the auditor’s progress or lack of it.
“It just started to feel like we were taking two steps forward and three steps back—I remember thinking that we were not getting any buy-in from the auditor on what approach to use with regard to how we were going to get things done,” continues Dodson, who adds that the restatement involved tens of thousands of transactions that went back several years.
“Firing the auditor was against everything that I had believed up until that point,” says Dodson, who recalls having a shared moment of insight with his chief accountant when they repeated back and forth to one another: “We are going to fire the auditor.”
Concludes Dodson: “This was a defining moment for the company, and it became a lifesaver that made the difference in the entire process.” –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about Quantum. What sets this company’s offerings apart?
Dodson: Quantum, historically, was a disk drive company. Back during my public accounting days, drive manufacturer Seagate Technology was one of my largest clients, and I knew Quantum very well—30 years ago. Today at Quantum, we don’t sell disk drives. We’re a technology company focused on enriching, managing, and protecting video and video-like data.
When it comes to video and video-like data, there’s an important distinction. When you think of pictures, you think of video, you think of X-rays, but Lidar, it’s different. These are huge files. You really have to handle them differently, and it takes different software to handle them.
Quantum has developed a product portfolio that addresses this market very, very well. You need to be very fast, and we’ve got the fastest parallel file processing system in the world. You can pull down huge files in a fraction of the time that it takes with our competitors’ products. Plus, we are on the other side of it, as the largest storage archive company.Read More
The customer base is really exciting. In the media and entertainment business, there’s not a Disney or Warner Brothers film that’s made without our DXi series offerings, there’s not an NBA or NFL game done without it. It’s all with Quantum DXi.
And then we have the massive storage space, the big hyperscalers. We started with Amazon as our largest customer and have now branched out to take care of a number of hyperscalers.
“Personally invest more time and energy proactively, work cross-functionally to help the leaders understand the financial and business decisions that they face, and collaboratively problem-solve together.” –CFO Mike Dodson
Quantum | www.quantum.com | San Jose, CA