Is Mike Manos Crazy? Makes a job change in less than 9 months leaving Digital Realty Trust for where?

Feb 1, 2010 – new blog post on Mike’s Move to Nokia.

Mike Manos just announced he was leaving Digital Realty Trust.

A Digital Adieu

January 29, 2010 by mmanos

Those who follow the news from Digital Realty Trust closely may have recently read that I have decided to leave the company to focus a bit more on some personal work/life balance issues.  With this move comes a new role that I will talk more of in the coming days and weeks.

The official press release is here.

Digital Realty Trust Announces Organizational Changes

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 29, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: DLR), the world's largest wholesale datacenter provider, announced today that Mike Manos has resigned from the company as Senior Vice President of Technical Services, effective January 29, 2010. Mr. Manos joined the Company in 2009.

"Mike has made a tremendous contribution to Digital Realty Trust and we greatly appreciate his efforts," commented Michael F. Foust, CEO of Digital Realty Trust. "We understand that this was a difficult, personal decision for him and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors."

DataCenterKnowledge covers the news as well.

Manos has been one of the data center industry’s most visible executives, and been a regular speaker at major industry conferences and events.  

The first thought that came to mind “is Mike Manos crazy?”  He just left Microsoft in Apr 2009 to Digital Realty and in Jan 2010 announces he is leaving Digital Realty Trust.

Here is Mike’s post saying goodbye to Microsoft.

Farmers, so long

April 13, 2009 by mmanos


This post represents a bittersweet moment in my career. As you have no doubt heard I am moving on from Microsoft to take on an exciting senior role at Digital Realty Trust. I will save the specifics on my new role and its mission for a future post on my personal Loosebolts blog. But for now, I want to reflect a bit on my work here at Microsoft, our team, and a little bit on what it means to be a farmer.

The demand for data center expertise is high, but what got Mike to leave so soon.

This reminds me of the movie “The Gods must be Crazy” trying to figure out what motivates Mike.

If you have never seen The Gods Must be Crazy here is the first 15 minutes of the movie

After having a laugh, I thought “well Mike must have some logic to his actions and I can’t see it.”  The movie uses this technique well to show how an outsiders view of what you do can be funny.

I am sure we’ll hear soon what MIke’s plans are.

And, maybe in the same way that the Coke bottle from “The Gods Must be Crazy” didn’t quite fit in the culture of the tribe.

Xi and his band of San/Bushmen relatives are living well off the land in the Kalahari Desert. They are happy because the gods have provided plenty of everything, and no one in the tribe has unfulfilled wants. One day, a glass Coke bottle is thrown out of an aeroplane and falls to earth unbroken. Initially, this strange artifact seems to be another boon from the gods—-Xi's people find many uses for it. But unlike anything that they have had before, there is only one bottle to go around. This exposes the tribe to a hitherto unknown phenomenon, property, and they soon find themselves experiencing things they never had before: jealousy, envy, anger, hatred, even violence.

Since it has caused the band unhappiness on two occasions, Xi decides that the bottle is an evil thing and must be thrown off of the edge of the world. He sets out alone on his quest and encounters Western civilization for the first time. The film presents an interesting interpretation of civilization as viewed through Xi's perceptions.

Maybe Mike was just too good of a thing that there was only one of.  It is quite interesting how organizations behave when there is a resource that drives disruptive changes like Mike.  Look at how much he has done on Digital Realty Trust’s home page.


Personally, I’ve gone through quite a few circumstances where being innovative is something that doesn’t fit.

Was Mike too innovative at Digital Realty Trust?

Or maybe someone said “Mike let’s let you be really innovative over here?”

My bet is MIke has something very cool he is up to.  It may seem crazy now, but after we learn more, it will most likely make sense.