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McNiel is new CEO of Melville's FalconStor

James McNiel has been named president and chief executive of Melville-based FalconStor Software Inc., the company announced Wednesday.

McNiel had been serving as interim president and interim chief executive since founder ReiJane Huai resigned last September after law enforcement began investigating "improper payments" made to a customer.

McNiel, who joined FalconStor in 2009 as chief strategy officer, also has been elected to the board.

"This is an auspicious time for FalconStor, with its depth of technical expertise and strong industry partnerships, to lead the way toward addressing IT's most pressing business continuity challenges," McNiel said in a statement. "We are designing the industry's first service-oriented data protection solution for private data centers and the cloud, and it is upon this foundation that we intend to build FalconStor's future."

McNiel, previously an executive vice president of corporate development at Cheyenne Software, which Huai also founded, is also a former general partner at Pequot Ventures, now known as FirstMark Capital.

Huai and two other FalconStor executives face a federal insider-trading class-action lawsuit.

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