Pure Storage Steals EMC's CMO

Jonathan Martin

Pure Storage is looking to amplify its marketing presence with the hiring of EMC's former chief marketing officer.

Pure Storage, Mountain View, Calif., on Tuesday said it has hired Jonathan Martin, a four-year EMC veteran, as its CMO. A Pure Storage spokesperson confirmed that CMO is a newly created role for the all-flash storage array vendor.

Martin, who in March of 2014 became EMC's CMO, is scheduled to officially take the new Pure Storage role in July. Before EMC, Martin served in marketing roles with Hewlett-Packard, Salesforce.com and Veritas Software.

[Related: NetApp's Flash Storage Guru Has Moved To Pure Storage, Stoking Fears About FlashRay]

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It's a move that will help Pure Storage move to its next stage of growth, said Steve Johnson, president and CEO of Corus360, an Atlanta-based solution provider and cloud services provider that counts the vendor as one of its two primary flash storage partners.

Martin has a tremendous track record in the industry, Johnson told CRN. "He's smarter than the smartest data scientist," he said. "He's very focused on transformation of antiquated marketing ways to modern tech marketing. And he's focused on how to educate customers, how to attract new customers and how to use data to win customers."

The hiring of Martin is an indication that Pure Storage is looking at new ways to improve its business, Johnson said. "They're looking at opportunities to educate and train the market," he said. "My hat's off to those guys."

Pure Storage was unavailable to talk to CRN about the hiring of Martin.

However, David Hatfield, Pure Storage president, said in a statement emailed to CRN that as the company scales its business and as all-flash storage arrays enter the mainstream adoption phase, the company needs a proven leader to help it reach a broader customer audience.

"The IT and Business transformation that this next generation storage platform delivers extends beyond the Storage, Database Virtualization and Infrastructure executives who already know about flash and Pure -- and into the C-Suite. Having a proven leader, who knows how to reach this broad audience, across the world, is a critical component to Pure continuing to transform an industry and build the next great storage company.

"Adding the role of CMO will help us amplify our message to the market, and Jonathan gives us the depth of experience having done this in both hyper growth and at scale for VERITAS, Salesforce.com, HP and EMC. He complements our team of savvy marketers and dedicated Puritans that have innovated in our channel centric go to market programs and we're excited to have him join in on our mission," Hatfield said.

EMC declined to comment on a replacement for Martin. However, an EMC spokesperson said that Martin's responsibilities for now will be handled by Jeremy Burton, president of products and marketing and EMC's first CMO.

Pure Storage has made a number of recent hires from its legacy storage vendor competitors.

Its highest-profile hire to date was that of Brian Pawlowski, better known as "beepee." Pawlowski, the former head of NetApp's FlashRay all-flash storage array development, in March joined Pure Storage as its vice president and chief architect.

EMC in 2013 sued 44 former EMC salespeople who joined Pure Storage.