Mystery of Why 4 Technical Leaders have left Digital Realty over 5 years

Jim Smith and David Schirmacher have left Digital Realty Trust.

Jim Smith, who has been the data center provider’s CTO since its founding more than a decade ago, is leaving the company, a Digital spokesman said.
Another major departure from Digital announced Tuesday was David Schirmacher’s. After more than 3.5 years as senior VP of operations, Schirmacher was appointed to lead design and construction in January of this year.

I would always chat with Jim and David when I saw them at data center events.  Then, I thought about Chris Crosby another person I would enjoy chatting with left in 2011.

“During his tenure, Chris tirelessly focused on growing our business and played a key role in developing our data center products and most recently new market opportunities,” said Michael Foust, Chief Executive Officer, in the company’s press release.

Then I thought of Mike Manos leaving Digital in 2010.

All four of these data center executives are tops in technical and operational skills to build and run data centers.  When you go through the list of people Digital is hiring you don't see someone with these skills.

This is a mystery to me.  As the largest data center provider you would think having the top data center talent is a priority.  So what is the top priority for Digital?  In the announcement of Jim and David leaving is the hiring of Chris Sharp from Equinix where he focused on the Cloud.  But, some of the biggest tenants of Digital run some of the biggest Clouds.  Does Digital want to compete against its Cloud customers?  If youwant to build data centers specific for the Cloud you would keep the data center executives so its not that.

I don't have a clear answer to this mystery.