WANdisco waltzes away from fraud scandal with Cirata rebrand

WANdisco rebrand Image credit: T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com

WANdisco has changed its name to Cirata in a bid to draw a line under a fraud scandal that resulted in the data company being ejected from the AIM market.

The name change was approved on Wednesday by just under 61% of shareholders. In an investor filing, WANdisco said the rebrand is “intended to provide a new and positive canvas where the company can build positive brand equity going forward”.

Cirata is a combination of “cirrus cloud” and “data”, the company said. WANdisco plans to transition to the Cirata brand in the fourth quarter and has set up a new website that states it is “coming soon”.

Que sera Cirata

It follows a turbulent period for the Sheffield-headquartered company, in which it has faced a fraud investigation, had its shares suspended and an exodus of executives.

An internal investigation found that WANdisco’s revenue may have been overstated by about $15m and $115.4m in sales bookings was “false”. The irregularities were traced back to one senior salesperson.

David Richards, WANdisco’s co-founder and former CEO, and Erik Miller, the company’s ex-finance chief stepped down in April. WANdisco said the resignations were not related to the financial irregularities. However, the board last month asked the pair to return their bonuses.

In May, WANdisco parachuted in tech industry veteran Stephen Kelly as interim CEO. He has since taken up the position full time.

The company then secured emergency funding and resumed trading on the AIM market in July. Last month, it signed a $400,000 deal with automotive giant General Motors.

“It’s time to focus our collective attention on the future and do everything we can to help drive the growth plan forward,” said Kelly, who previously ran Sage Group. “Renaming and rebranding the company is one step in that journey and we’re excited to build Cirata into a category leader.”

Founded in 2005, the company formerly known as WANdisco provides “data activation” tools to support companies with digital transformations. Its share price is down 94% since it resumed trading in March.