Tehama could be spun-off from parent company, SVP says

Feb 06 2019
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by Ben Koconis

Tehama, a business unit that develops secure computer work environments, is preparing for a potential spilt from its parent company, Pythian, SVP Gene Villeneuve told this news service.

The spin-off has not been put into motion yet, but there will likely be some firm decisions made on the matter this year. It has been decided that it most likely makes sense for Tehama to become a separate company, the exec said.

Tehama’s is now accelerating many growth initiatives. “This is really our breakout year,” Villeneuve said.

Ottawa, Canada-based Tehama is a business unit and wholly-owned subsidiary of Pythian, a global IT Services provider founded in 1997.  

Tehama creates secure computer environments that include firewalls and storage. These SaaS-based work rooms integrate with existing identity and access management solutions and also meet GDPR and SOC 2 Type II regulatory compliance, according to Tehama.

Pythian, which has a 400 member team spread across 35 countries, has funded Tehama’s growth to date and will continue to do so in the near-term, Villeneuve said.  

That said, Tehama is now holding conversations with potential investors, including venture capital funds, because a split from Pythian will most likely require an external investment to “supercharge” the unit,  the exec said.

Tehama is now working with a large auditing firm that is providing some advisory services related to the potential split. The unit also has its own internal advisors with M&A experience,  Villeneuve said.

The unit’s software has been on the market since September 2017. It has several lead customers using its product in addition to value-added resellers (VARs) selling it. Most of its customers are in the US and Europe, Villeneuve said.

Tehama is now in the process of making some key sales hires and the team will be attending several events this year to build brand awareness, the exec said.

There are several use cases for Tehama’s software ‒ especially in financial services ‒ including data rooms for M&A transactions, according to Villeneuve.

The unit was initially created when Pythian was expanding and needed to improve on their agility and security when connecting to their global customers, according to company information.  

Villeneuve is SVP of the Tehama Business Unit and at Pythian he directs the strategy, operations and market growth of the Tehama cloud-based platform.

Prior to joining Tehama, Villeneuve held several executive positions at IBM. He is the father of two daughters, a runner and cyclist, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Ottawa.