Former Cisco Channel Titan Named Pure Storage COO

Paul Mountford is taking over Pure Storage’s worldwide sales and channel operations as the company’s new chief operating officer.


Cisco’s former channel superstar Paul Mountford is taking over Pure Storage’s worldwide sales, marketing and channel operations as the company’s new chief operating officer.

Mountford is joining his former Cisco colleague and current Pure Storage CEO Charles Giancarlo, who both spent more than a decade together at Cisco in a variety of executive roles in the 1990s and 2000s.

Mountford, who became Cisco’s channel chief in 2002, is credited with elevating Cisco’s channel to what it is today by restoring partner profitability and improving satisfaction. His 16-year tenure at the networking giant spanned from 1996 to 2012, which included at one point running Cisco’s $34 billion enterprise business. Pure CEO Giancarlo served as Cisco’s executive vice president, chief technology and development officer from 1993 through 2007, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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"Paul's deep leadership background ensures that he can step in on day one and make an immediate impact across our GTM and customer experience organizations," said Giancarlo in a statement. "As we deliver on our Modern Data Experience vision, Paul will play a pivotal role in driving and extending Pure's market leadership."

[Related: Pure Storage CEO: ‘We Outdistanced, We Believe, All The Competitors’]

As chief operating officer, Mountford is now responsible for worldwide sales and sales operations, channels and alliances, marketing and customer experience, which includes global support and professional services. Mountford could not be reached by press time.

“I have long admired Pure for the company’s impressive journey of growth, as well as the ability to anticipate customer needs and I am thrilled to work alongside this year,” Mountford said in a statement.

Cisco and Pure have a deep technology partnership that includes FlashStack, a Cisco and Pure converged infrastructure solution aimed to deliver maximum performance and reliability for business-critical applications with all flash storage.

Most recently, Mountford was appointed CEO of Riverbed in April 2018 after three years as chief sales officer for the company before leaving earlier this year. Last month, Rich McBee took over the reins at Riverbed as its new president and CEO. McBee was previously the CEO of Unified Communications as-a-Service (UCaaS) giant Mitel for the past eight years.

Ten-year-old Pure Storage was a pioneer in the development of the flash storage array business. During its recent second fiscal quarter 2020, Pure reported a 28 percent increase in revenue year over year of nearly $400 million.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based vendor recently introduced a slew of innovation during its recent Pure Accelerate 2019 conference including the hybrid cloud offering Cloud Block Store for AWS.