Iron Mountain Incorporated

Iron Mountain Incorporated
Iron Mountain Incorporated
Type Public (NYSEIRM)
Industry Information storage
Founded 1951
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Number of locations 1,000+
Key people Richard Reese, CEO
Harry Ebbighausen,
President, North America
Marc Duale,
President, International
Brian McKeon,
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Tasos Tsolakis,
Executive Vice President & Chief Information Officer
Annie Drapeau,
Executive Vice President, Human Resources
Jerry Rulli,
Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales
Revenue $3.0 billion in 2009
Employees 20,000+

Iron Mountain Inc NYSEIRM, founded in 1951, is a company whose headquarters are located in Boston, Massachusetts. It offers records management, information destruction and data backup services to more than 120,000 customers throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Iron Mountain is a component of the S&P 500 Index.



The company was started by Herman Knaust, who had made his fortune growing and marketing mushrooms.[1] In 1936, needing more space to grow his product, he purchased a depleted iron ore mine and 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land in Livingston, New York for $9,000.[1] By 1950, the mushroom market had shifted and Knaust was looking for alternative uses for his mine, which he had named "Iron Mountain".

Amid widespread Cold War fears, Knaust saw a business opportunity in protecting corporate information from nuclear attack and other disasters. In 1951 the company, now named "Iron Mountain Atomic Storage Corporation", opened its first underground "vaults" and its first sales office in the Empire State Building, about 125 miles (201 km) south.[2] Iron Mountain's first customer was East River Savings Bank, who brought microfilm copies of deposit records and duplicate signature cards in armored cars for storage in the mountain facility. In 1978, the company opened its first above-ground records-storage facility.


This first iteration of Iron Mountain was bankrupt by the early 1970s and was wholly acquired by Vincent J. Ryan, through his holdings in Schooner Capital Corpation, Boston, MA. At the time it consisted of the original facility in Linlithgo, NY and IMAR (Iron Mountain at Rosendale), a former limestone mine and mushroom cave outside of Kingston, NY. In 1980, it expanded to RI through the purchase of a former Industrial National Bank (the precursor to FleetBoston) cold site and data tape repository in Gloucester, RI. Though it had many Fortune 500 clients at the time, its revenue was in the $6 million dollar range in the early 1980s. Its breakthrough came in the mid 1980s when it convinced Manufacturer's Hanover Bank to move all its paper records out of Manhattan to the above mentioned above-ground facility, a former strip mall in Port Ewen,NY. This was the first time bar codes were used by a records management company to allow real time access to shipped boxes,and therefore, the documents inside. The barcoding of boxes of paper records and the subsequent rolling up of "Mom and Pop" facilities around the country made expansion easy from there on out. Its "sell or be put out of business" mindset was instrumental to the firm's growth.

During the 1980s, the company expanded beyond New York, opening facilities in New Jersey and throughout New England. In 1988, Iron Mountain extended its reach into 12 more U.S. markets by acquiring Bell & Howell Records Management, Inc.[3] Since 1980, Iron Mountain has acquired more than 200 companies, growing both the company's geographic footprint and its service offerings. Revenue over this period increased nearly 1,000 fold from $3 million in 1981 to $2.7 billion at the end of 2007.

In 2004, Iron Mountain formed Iron Mountain Digital, following the acquisition of Connected Corporation,[4] a maker of online PC backup software. A year later, Iron Mountain Digital added LiveVault,[5] a provider of online backup software for server data. In 2007 Iron Mountain acquired Stratify Inc.,[6] one of the larger e-discovery service providers at the production end of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM).[7] In June 2008, Bob Brennan,[8] 48, became the company's president and chief executive officer, following Richard Reese,[9] who served 27 years as CEO. Brennan joined Iron Mountain in 2004 as president of North America after the company acquired Connected Corporation, where he was chairman and chief executive officer. In February 2010, Iron Mountain acquired Mimosa Systems, an archiving software provider.


The best known Iron Mountain storage facility is a high-security storage facility in a former limestone mine at Boyers, Pennsylvania near the city of Butler in the United States. It began storing records in 1954 and was purchased by Iron Mountain in 1998. It is here that Bill Gates stores his Corbis photographic collection in a refrigerated cave 220 feet (67 m) underground.[10]

Iron Mountain has additional underground storage facilities in the United States and the rest of the world. Most of the company's over 1,000 storage locations are in above-ground leased warehouse space located near customers.


Security magazine named Iron Mountain in “Security 500” of 2008, an annual ranking of the United States' 500 most secure companies. Iron Mountain was its industry’s sole representative in the category of business services. Published in the magazine’s November issue, the Security 500[11] ranks companies using several metrics such as the percentage of a company’s revenue spent on security. The survey tracks 16 vertical markets to serve as a benchmarking tool for companies.

Fortune magazine has had Iron Mountain on its list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” every year from 2006 to 2011.[12] In its category, ‘diversified outsourcing services’, it has every year come in second behind Aramark. The only exception was 2006, when it also ranked below Convergys.[13] The industry rankings reflect feedback from executives, directors and analysts who rated Iron Mountain and industry peers on nine attributes of reputation, from investment value to quality of management.[citation needed]

In April 2009, Iron Mountain's Digital Record Center for Images was honored as a Product of the Year by the Massachusetts Network Communications Council in the category Cloud Computing, Virtualization and Data Warehousing/Storage.[14]


The company has received media attention for losing or misplacing customer files and data, particularly tapes containing private information such as home addresses and Social Security numbers. In May 2005, Time Warner disclosed that a container of 40 unencrypted backup tapes containing the personal information of 600,000 current and former employees had disappeared while being transported in an Iron Mountain van that made 18 other stops in Manhattan that day. After the loss, Time Warner began encrypting its tapes, and Iron Mountain advised its other clients to do the same.[15][16] A year later, tapes containing personal information for about 17,000 Long Island Railroad employees were lost while in transit to the railroad's office, along with tapes belonging to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs being shipped in the same vehicle.[17]

In July 2006, a fire completely destroyed a leased six-story company warehouse in London.[18] The paper records of 600 customers,[19] including client files stored by several prominent London law firms, were lost.[20] Also destroyed were the medical records of up to 240,000 patients of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.[19] The London Fire Brigade later concluded that the fire was caused by arson.[21] One day earlier, a smaller fire believed to have been caused by contractors making roof repairs damaged a company warehouse in Ottawa, Canada.[22]

In August 2007, the company began retrofitting its unmarked vans and trucks with a new security and alarm system using chain of custody technology to reduce the exposure of customer data to possible loss. Among other security features, the system uses radio frequency authentication and real-time tracking capabilities to help prevent "mysterious disappearances" of tapes, or their actual removal from the vehicle, during transit.[23]

See also


  1. ^ a b Iron Mountain's peak performance makes it BBJ's Company of the Year
  2. ^ Iron Mountain Corporate History
  3. ^ C. Richard Reese: Iron Man
  4. ^ Iron Mountain to Acquire Connected Corporation
  5. ^ Consolidation Reshapes Online Backup Market
  6. ^ Iron Mountain acquires Stratify for $158M
  7. ^ Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM)
  8. ^ Bob Brennan
  9. ^ Richard Reese profile
  10. ^ "Under Iron Mountain". National Press Photographers' Association. June 4, 2005. 
  11. ^ Additional details on the Security 500, along with the full ranking
  12. ^ World's Most Admired Companies 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011
  13. ^ World's Most Admired Companies: Diversified Outsourcing Services, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
  14. ^ MassNetComms honors Kamen, Miner, Markey, among others
  15. ^ ZELLER Jr, TOM (May 3, 2005). "Time Warner Says Data on Employees Is Lost". The New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2010. 
  16. ^ Stross, Randall (May 8, 2005). "Whoops! We Seem to Have Misplaced Your Identity". The New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Personal data of NY transit employees lost". MSNBC. April 27, 2006. 
  18. ^ "Paper warehouse destroyed in fire". BBC. July 13, 2006. 
  19. ^ a b "Alarm as NHS files go up in smoke". January 17, 2007. 
  20. ^ "Iron Mountain fires prompt users to hasten hunt for backup options". Techworld. August 7, 2006. 
  21. ^ "Iron Mountain 2007 Annual Report". 
  22. ^ "Two Iron Mountain facilities hit by fire". Computerworld. July 25, 2006. 
  23. ^ "Iron Mountain retrofits truck fleet with self-designed security system". Computerworld. August 6, 2007. 

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