NetApp President To Retire After Decades At The Storage Vendor

Rob Salmon

Rob Salmon, one of NetApp's top executives, is planning to retire soon, the storage vendor said.

Salmon, NetApp's president in charge of its go-to-market operations and a 20-year-plus veteran at the storage vendor, plans to retire around the end of April.

NetApp's go-to-market operations includes global marketing, customer success operations and field operations, and support the company's channel, alliance and service partners.

[Related: Q&A: NetApp CEO Kurian Talks About New Competitors, Tech's Transition And Industry Consolidation]

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NetApp CEO George Kurian unveiled Salmon's impending retirement during last week's second fiscal 2016 quarterly financial conference call.

"I would like to extend a special thank you to Rob Salmon, president, who after 22 years announced his intent to retire from NetApp at the end of the fiscal year. We appreciate all he has done for the company and his work to ensure a smooth transition," Kurian said during the call.

NetApp, in an email response to a CRN request for more information, said Salmon is retiring at the end of NetApp's fiscal year, April 29, to spend more time with his family.

"From now till the end of NetApp’s fiscal year, Rob will continue to drive the discussions with our biggest strategic technology partners, resellers and customers. Rob will ensure a smooth transition, contribute to moving critical projects forward, and help hire his successor," NetApp said in the statement.

Salmon joined NetApp in 1994 as one of the first members of the storage vendor's sales organization. He has led global field operations since 2004, and last year was promoted to the position of president.

Salmon has been a fixture at NetApp, serving a lot of different roles, and will be missed, said John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems (IAS), a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime NetApp channel partner.

However, Woodall said, this seems to be a good opportunity for Salmon to retire.

Salmon was promoted to the position of NetApp president under the company's last CEO, Tom Georgens, who in June was let go by the company's board of directors. "Salmon's departure could be part of the normal change in executives that comes with a new CEO," Woodall said. "I'm not sure. ... But I would take at face value the news that he is retiring."

Salmon's pending retirement could possibly reflect consolidation in NetApp's go-to-market and sales operations, but should not have an impact on the company or the channel, Woodall said. "NetApp's a solid company with a solid road map that it is executing on," he said. "There has to be a lot of people below him who will continue to execute on his plans."