Press Releases

Parallels Founder and Executive Chairman Names Birger Steen as CEO

February 23
09:30 2011

Web Hosting NewsORLANDO, FL. – Parallels, a global leader in Cloud services enablement and desktop virtualization software, today announced the promotion to CEO of current company President Birger Steen.  Steen has been charged with managing and accelerating the growth Parallels has experienced in recent years.  The profitable company generates more than $100 million in revenue. Parallels founder and outgoing CEO, Serguei Beloussov, will continue his full-time role as Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Architect driving the company’s strategy and innovation.

The announcement was made by Beloussov during his keynote speech at Parallels Summit 2011, the premier industry event for cloud service providers focused on SMBs and the company’s annual gathering for worldwide partners, customers, employees and other industry leaders.

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Steen joined Parallels from Microsoft in September 2010.  Since joining the company, Steen has overseen sales, marketing, product management, and customer support and services.  He has also been integral in working with Beloussov to prepare the company for its next stage of growth. As company president, Steen oversaw the launch of the No. 1 selling and award-winning Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac and the widely adopted Parallels Plesk Panel 10.  Steen was also instrumental in creating a “voice of the customer” program to help align Parallels and its product development more closely with its partners and customers.

“During his six months with Parallels, Birger has proven himself to be an incisive decision-maker and capable leader for all areas of our business,” said Serguei Beloussov, Executive Chairman of the Board. “The Board is confident that Birger, with his global experience and proven track record in building and developing strong partner communities, is the right leader at the right time to help Parallels scale and accelerate our worldwide growth plans.  He will enable Parallels to be the best partner for service providers at an even larger scale and will lead the successful execution of our strategy.”

In his expanded role, Steen will also be responsible for all day-to-day execution including engineering sales, partner relationships, support, marketing and deployment services.  Steen will work to further the company’s leadership in Cloud services enablement and desktop virtualization, where it has 78 percent market share (according to NPD Group1). Parallels is profitable and its financial performance is strong.  In addition to generating more than $100 million in revenue, the company has a six-year 50+ percent CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) with accelerating topline growth.  Parallels is cash flow positive with a gross margin that is greater than 90 percent. The company also has a substantial and recurring predictable revenue stream.

“The talent, energy and innovation I see every day at Parallels is inspiring and I’m proud to be a part of such a unique company,” said Steen.  “I’m laser-focused on serving our customers and enabling our partners to quickly capitalize on the growing opportunities in Cloud services for SMBs worldwide.”

Prior to joining Parallels, Steen was Vice President of Small and Medium Business and Distribution at Microsoft.  He held several other senior positions at the company since joining in 2002. He started his Microsoft career at as General Manager in Norway and then moved on to serve as General Manager and Vice President of Microsoft Russia.  During his tenure there, Microsoft’s revenues from Russia grew tenfold.  Before Microsoft Steen was CEO of Scandinavia Online AB which was listed on the Stockholm and Oslo Stock Exchanges in 2000 under his leadership.  Birger holds a Master of Science in Computer Science and Industrial Engineering from the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim and earned his MBA from INSEAD in France.

Beloussov will continue to be intimately involved with Parallels full time.  As Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Architect, he will focus on strategy, innovation, alliances and mergers and acquisitions.

About Parallels
Parallels is a worldwide leader in virtualization and automation software that optimizes computing for consumers, businesses, and Cloud Services Providers across all major hardware, operating systems, and virtualization platforms. Founded in 1999, Parallels is a fast-growing company with more than 800 employees in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit

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