McAdam likened it to the effect software-defined networking (SDN) had in 2012 and 2013, according to a note published by Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski. As SDN became “real,” with multiple technology options available, customers had to hit pause and figure out their long-term plans.
The public cloud is likewise becoming a fact of corporate life, so enterprises are trying to “seek clarity before committing budgets,” Jankowski writes.
Macroeconomic factors are playing a role, too, as F5 saw “delays in the Americas, specifically in the Fortune 500 customer base,” she writes. This isn’t isolated to F5. Most technology companies are reporting similar slumps, and the U.S. stock market overall has been bearish this year.
When it comes to F5’s own public cloud strategy, McAdam said he’d like all of F5’s products to be available on public clouds in three to five years. Revenues from that direction are small at the moment but “growing at a very high rate every month,” Jankowski writes.
F5 had warned in October that earnings for its first quarter, ended Dec. 31, would be lighter than expected.
McAdam’s stint as interim CEO might involve a long “interim.” He retook the CEO chair in December when Manny Rivelo resigned “for matters regarding personal conduct,” as the company officially described it. McAdam told the Goldman Sachs conference that his priority is not to find a permanent CEO, but to stabilize the company.
That matches what he told GeekWire in January: “If it takes more than a year, I have given the board a pretty open-ended commitment.”