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Nutanix President, Hyper-Converged Pioneer Leaves For Rising Star ThoughtSpot

After seven years of building Nutanix from the ground up to a $1 billion company, Sudheesh Nair is leaving to become CEO of big data startup ThoughtSpot.

Nutanix President Sudheesh Nair is leaving the hyper-converged pioneer after seven years of driving sales and helping build the hyper-converged infrastructure market to become the CEO of rising big data star ThoughtSpot.

"I consider him a founder who was my partner in crime as we built this company from scratch," said Nutanix founder and CEO Dheeraj Pandey in an internal memo Wednesday filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Nair was crucial to Nutanix's success by making decisions such as embracing channel partners, going international early on, embarking on Nutanix Xi, and distributing software though server OEMs, according to Pandey. He joined Nutanix in 2011 when the company was still developing products and had yet to generate any revenue.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Nutanix CEO On The 'Big Bills' And 'Computing Sprawl' Of Public Cloud]

Over the next seven years as president, Nair helped grow the San Jose, Calif.-based company into a $1 billion company and hyper-converged market leader.

"From taking a company from zero to something huge over seven years, that's a very impressive thing to do," said Michael Tanenhaus, CEO of Mavenspire, an Annapolis, Md.-based solution provider and Nutanix partner.

"[Nair] and Nutanix did something very difficult. One of the hardest things is putting words into a concept to connect to a consumer," he said. "They succeeded in putting a name to hyper-converged and causing that whole software-defined compute industry to just surge."

Pandey described Nair as a "learner, an ardent reader, and insatiably self-aware" as well as a "rebel," like himself. Nair could not be reached for comment.

Nair will now take over the CEO reins at big data analytics startup ThoughtSpot, named on CRN's 30 Coolest Business Analytics Vendors of 2018. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup was founded and is currently led by Nutanix's co-founder and former chief products officer, Ajeet Singh.

The ThoughtSpot business analytics platform uses search and artificial intelligence technology to generate analysis and business insight from huge volumes of data. The platform offers a "Google-like" search in order to analyze data, according to the startup. In October, the company debuted SpotIQ, a new AI-driven analytics engine offered as part of the ThoughtSpot 4.4 system.

In May, the startup raised $145 million in a Series D funding round led by investors Lightspeed Ventures, Future Fund, Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst and Sapphire Ventures.

"I congratulate Sudheesh on joining hands with my best friend, Ajeet Singh, at ThoughtSpot as CEO," said Pandey. "The other positive in this event is the sense of pride we can all have about producing a promising CEO out of Nutanix."

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