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In the search for a new CEO, virtualization software maker Parallels stayed close to home and named one of its own senior executives to the post. Birger Steen, the current president of Parallels, has been promoted to CEO, effective Feb. 23, the company said.

Company founder and outgoing CEO Sergeui Beloussov announced Steen’s appointment during his keynote speech on Feb. 23 at Parallels Summit in Orlando. Steen joined Parallels six months ago and since then has overseen the launch of Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac software and Parallels Plesk Panel 10, said Beloussov.

"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 Beloussov.

Best known for its desktop and server virtualization software, the majority of Parallels business comes from tools for hosting providers to manage virtual and physical servers, to deploy applications to the cloud and to enable integration with third-party cloud services. At the conference, Parallels outlined its strategy for bringing small and medium businesses to the cloud.

Steen said he will focus on expanding cloud services for small to medium businesses.

By 2015, the small business cloud will be hot, a $50 billion market, Beloussov said at the conference. According to a Parallels report that was released at the conference, the cloud services market was valued at $10.6 billion in 2010 and is expected to increase to $28.6 billion this year, with almost $12 billion in infrastructure services.

For more, read the eWeek article: Parallels Names New CEO and Outlines SMB Cloud Strategy.