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NetApp Exec Moves: EVP Henri Richard To Retire, James Whitemore Gets Permanent CMO Nod

2019 has seen a lot of change in the upper echelons of NetApp's executive team, with Henri Richard (pictured) the latest to signal he's ready to retire and James Whitemore moving from interim to permanent CMO.

NetApp is losing yet another longtime executive, but is also giving a nod to another executive to make permanent what has until now been an interim position.

NetApp George Kurian Wednesday used the company's second fiscal quarter 2020 financial call to say that Henri Richard, NetApp's executive vice president of worldwide field and customer operations, will be retiring at the end of the current fiscal year.

Kurian also said James Whitemore, who has for the past several months been serving as NetApp's interim chief marketing officer, will now stay in that role on a permanent basis and be promoted to senior vice president.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: NetApp CEO George Kurian On Keystone, Clouds And Competition]

The departure of Richard is not really a surprise given the size of NetApp and the changes the company is going through, said John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime NetApp channel partner.

"NetApp is a company in transition, and changes are not unexpected given the past few quarters," Woodall told CRN. "I think that the NetApp leadership team has depth and breadth, and I expect continued improving results as NetApp's transformation continues."

Kurian on the call made note of Richard’s accomplishments.

"Over the past three and a half years at NetApp, Henri has done much to transform and modernize our sales force to take advantage of the strength of our Data Fabric strategy and our technology leadership as we pivoted to new buying centers and the growth areas of the market," he said. "Henri will participate in the search for his replacement, and help in the seamless transition while continuing to lead the field and improving our execution."

Kurian also spoke of the impact Whitemore has had on the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company.

Whitemore in 2016 joined NetApp when it acquired SolidFire, where he also served as chief marketing officer.

"[He] has since been leading our demand generation and digital strategy in the marketing organization," Kurian said. "As acting CMO, James has already made a strong impact. And I'm glad to have him as the CMO of NetApp."

A number of NetApp executives have left the company this year.

Jeff McCullough, the company's channel chief and vice president of Americas partner sales, left NetApp in September.

In August came the departures of two executives: Joel Reich, executive vice president of NetApp's storage systems and software business unit, and Thomas Stanley, senior vice president of the Americas.

In July, Tom Mendoza, NetApp's vice chairman and its first sales leader, said he was retiring from the company after a 25-year run.

Also in July Jean English, NetApp's senior vice president and chief marketing officer, departed to take on a new role as chief marketing officer at cybersecurity giant Palo Alto Networks.

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