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Cloud enablement

AT&T's Ex-CTO Takes a Step Back

Startup LonoCloud announced former AT&T chief technology officer Hossein Eslambolchi as its CEO back in September, but only months into the role he has downshifted to the position of chief strategy officer, freeing up time to attend to some family matters, he informs Light Reading.

He's also given up seats on multiple boards of directors, retaining just one, at Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR). And he plans to continue acting as technical advisor to a handful of startups, including RainStor, a big-data startup that announced a $12 million C-round in October.

So, it's not as if Eslambolchi is going into hiding. Tom Caldwell, who had been Lonocloud's president and who is now adding CEO duties to his role, tells Light Reading via email that Eslambolchi remains an active part of the team, helping Lonocloud with a planned mid-2013 launch.

Meanwhile, the recruitment offers are likely to keep coming.

"I get a lot of calls, almost on a monthly basis," Eslambolchi says, including, he claims, an inquiry about becoming CTO of Nokia Networks . A Nokia Siemens spokesman couldn't confirm this, but at any rate, the recruiting process doesn't sound like it went far.

"I wouldn't go as a CTO to a big company. I've already done that," Eslambolchi says.

If he were to return to big-company life, he'd rather be COO or CEO. "Most of these companies need business transformation, and what I'm good at is technology and business transformation."

The bigger consideration is that he wants to stay close to family. That means staying in the San Diego area, which limits his options.

LonoCloud happens to be based in San Diego, but that's not the only thing that attracted Eslambolchi. The startup is developing software to federate clouds -- that is, to allow workloads to shift freely from one cloud to another.

What Eslambolchi found particularly compelling was Lonocloud's potential to provide a fail-over mechanism. "In essence, you end up with high availability" provided in software, something he hadn't seen in a cloud architecture before, he says. (The hardware alternative would be to build duplicates of data centers, which would obviously be more expensive.)

For more
Eslambolchi wrote a few columns for Light Reading in 2011, examining some big issues that were emerging.

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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