Get to Know Rod Mathews, CEO of Axcient

Great Things are on the Horizon: Industry Veteran Rod Mathews Takes the Helm

On October 17th, 2022, Axcient announced Rod Mathews as the company’s President and CEO. We’re excited to introduce our partners and the channel so they can get to know him.

Rod’s brings a fresh perspective and nearly 30 years of technology industry experience to Axcient. Most recently, at Barracuda Networks, he led Corporate Development and Alliances and was previously General Manager for the Data Protection business. Under his leadership, Barracuda completed nine acquisitions, launched their cloud-to-cloud backup solution, and shipped the industry’s highest volume of Purpose-Built Backup Appliances (PBBAs). Rod managed a global R&D team for the Data Protection portfolio that included worldwide cloud operations and championed the MSP channel as a pillar of Barracuda’s growth strategy.

Before joining Barracuda, Rod steered business development for EMC’s backup recovery systems division, and previously held positions at Data Domain, Brocade, and NetApp where he focused on increasing product innovation, multiplying operational capacity, and scaling revenue. 

Leading Axcient’s Future Growth and Direction

“I am excited to join the Axcient team and build on their track record of growth,” says Rod. “Data protection has never been more critical to MSPs and their SMB clients. Today’s challenging economic environment puts a premium on solutions like Axcient’s that protect data from ransomware and other malicious attacks, deliver disaster recovery as a service, and reduce costs for MSPs. I see a great opportunity ahead for Axcient to rapidly extend our reach to even more partners with the right business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions that Protect Everything™.”

– Rod Mathews, CEO, Axcient

Rod sees Axcient as a trusted vendor partner that prioritizes enabling MSPs to be trusted advisors to their customers. He explains, “SMBs typically can’t afford an IT team but have the same needs and requirements as a larger company. They need someone to help them with the right infrastructure and security. MSPs become their trusted advisor, and Axcient must in turn be a trusted advisor for our MSP  partners. That’s how we equip them to be able to deliver the right services and products.” Rod continues, “MSPs must be able to depend on us. Just selling SMBs something – especially something that can be commoditized just isn’t that helpful. It’s the services and the chain of trust that is important.”

Rod is No One Trick Pony

His industry resume is impressive, but what stands out about Rod is his passion for work-life balance. It’s clear he takes it seriously when he talks enthusiastically about his pursuits outside of his professional life. Based in northern California, he loves to play golf but describes his golf skills with a fair bit of self-deprecation.

In a get-to-know-Rod interview session, Rod talks about his perspective on the importance of balancing busy and productive work hours with time to relax, recharge, and pursue other passions. As a habitual workaholic, Rod has realized there is only a certain amount of time you can be productive – and at a certain point, you become far less so. Rod says that a work-only mentality isn’t a good or healthy approach to life and recommends another activity, focus, or hobby to reset your head. For Rod, the things that recharge him are time spent with family, music, and golf.

Rod Attended Juilliard!

When asked about his passion for music, Rod describes a diverging set of interests. He says, “I went to an engineering high school my freshman year, but when it was time to go to college, I had to decide what I wanted to be. I chose to embrace my love of music, and I went to Juilliard. I recall there was a big banner that said, ‘mediocrity is not allowed.’ That’s why Axcient’s core value of ‘Reject Mediocrity’ resonates with the musician in me. When you want to do things like music at a high level, it’s important. The same is true in business.” In reflecting on attending Juilliard and focusing on being the best tuba player he can be – Rod said he “wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Rod was a professional musician in the Sacramento Symphony and loved it, but after it went bankrupt, he wanted something more stable than a freelance musician. He pivoted to his other love – technology. He realized he is a bit too extroverted to thrive in a typical engineering role, so he gravitated toward product management. Rod explains, “That’s what got me into the tech side of things.”

Maintaining that work-life balance, Rod played with the Santa Rosa Symphony for 12 years and left when the commute became too long. He continues to play whenever he can balance it with the demands of a busy job. “Today, my priority is being Axcient’s CEO. Playing music helps me reset and get my head right and will help me fulfill this role well. My brain gets active in a different way in rehearsals, and it really clears my head. For me, music is a source of inspiration and clarity of thought.”

Two Areas of Focus for Future Innovation

Rod sees the areas of focus for Axcient in the coming months and years as an extension of the company’s existing mission.

#1 Be the First Choice for DR as a Service with Exceptional Failover and Failback

Rod is committed to delivering complete ransomware resiliency for MSPs with instant business continuity as a main focus.”

We want to differentiate ourselves from other backup vendors by working to differentiate from other backup vendors to deliver dependable failover to the cloud and successful failback to local infrastructure. Axcient aims to close this gap in the capabilities currently available in the channel. We are doubling down on cloud-to-cloud opportunities while continuing to protect MSPs’ local environments. At the same time, Axcient is delivering choice and flexibility in our solutions that are just as effective at protecting cloud environments as physical ones. Rod explains, “We have the opportunity to be highly differentiated there. Others say they do it, but we do it better and we’re doing things no one else can do.”

#2 Continue Axcient’s Obsessive Pursuit of Efficiency

Rod acknowledges the challenges of inflation and costs but sees opportunities for Axcient to help MSPs. With our security-first approach, MSPs can save time, money, and resources. Harnessing Axcient’s unified single solution drives an MSPs ability to deliver critical services in the most dependable and efficient way possible. He pointed to Axcient’s latest research in partnership with Channelnomics:

  • 74% of MSPs surveyed see their BCDR revenue growing in 2023.
  • 96% of MSPs say BCDR is important to their future and relevant to everyone.
  • 36% say their BCDR services are inefficient and feel the pinch of multiple solutions.
  • 40% say consolidation is critical.

Rod agrees that consolidation is essential for right-sized MSP growth, and Axcient is ready to deliver. With our reliable, easy-to-use platform, MSPs can accelerate growth. Rod is focusing the team to better deliver on the promise of improved operational maturity and efficiency through solution standardization.

It is a great time to become an Axient partner.

See what your MSP could do with a BCDR partner committed to innovating by taking an inside look at Axcient. Start Your Free 14-Day Trial Now!


About the Author: Carissa Johnson // Product Marketing Manager, Axcient

Carissa Kohn Johnson AxcientCarissa Kohn-Johnson has a background in healthcare technology and information technology, and is now the Product Marketing Manager for Axcient. She has a lot of MSP Channel experience from planning and attending hundreds of conferences and tradeshows, and found her passion in IT. Carissa is also an elected official in Cary NC, a town chock full of technology-forward people. Connect with her on LinkedIn – perhaps you can contribute to the Axcient blog?

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