Report: Isilon Co-Founder Sujal Patel Leaving EMC

Sujal Patel, co-founder of Isilon Systems, one of the Seattle area’s biggest recent VC success stories, is leaving data-storage giant EMC, which acquired Isilon for $2.25 billion in late 2010.

The move, first reported by John Cook at GeekWire, raises the welcome prospect of a seasoned and successful Seattle tech entrepreneur again on the prowl. But Patel, who launched Isilon in 2001 and later piloted it through a rough patch following its 2006 IPO, says his immediate focus is on his growing family.

The acquisition appears to have been a good one for EMC, which gained Isilon’s network-attached storage technology. Hopkinton, MA-based EMC noted demand for the technology as a highlight of its record third quarter earnings last week.

Meanwhile, Seattle has retained the Isilon workforce, which was slated to grow significantly this year.


Isilon was backed by Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group, which realized a return of 15-20 times its $15 million investment in the company through the EMC acquisition. That big return certainly helped Madrona sell itself on the fundraising trail—the VC firm recently closed a $300 million fifth fund.

We’re reaching out to Patel and Madrona for updates and reaction. Cook reports that Bill Richter, Isilon’s CFO before the acquisition, will fill Patel’s shoes.

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