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NetApp Hires Former Microsoft Exec Cesar Cernuda As New President

Cernuda, who served as president of Microsoft APAC before eventually becoming president of Microsoft Latin America, will move to NetApp starting July 1 with a focus on helping transform the company for the cloud.

NetApp on Tuesday said it had hired Cesar Cernuda, the former president of Microsoft Latin America and corporate vice president of Microsoft, to be its new company president.

Cernuda will report to NetApp CEO and President George Kurian starting July 1, and will be responsible for evolving NetApp's go-to-market strategy and organization to help transfer how the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based storage company can leverage the cloud for more business opportunities.

Cernuda in his LinkedIn profile unveiled his planned move from Microsoft to NetApp, writing that after 23 years with Microsoft he is moving to a new personal and professional challenge.

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

"This has probably been one of the hardest decisions I have ever made but I am excited to share I will become the new President of NetApp. It has been an amazing journey working alongside customers, partners, and colleagues from Microsoft around the globe and I am forever grateful for all the learnings. I will remain in my current role until June 30th. NetApp, see you very soon!" he wrote.

Cernuda, in his 23 years at Microsoft, rose through the ranks starting as the company's small and medium business manager in Spain to become president of Microsoft's APAC (Asia-Pacific) business for three years and eventually become president of Microsoft's Latin American business and corporate vice president.

NetApp declined to comment further on the hiring.

However, Kurian, in a prepared statement, said that Cernuda's experience in successfully transformating large global organizations will help NetApp accelerate its cloud and software strategy.

"I’m excited to welcome a leader of his caliber. I look forward to him bringing to the team his passion for strong results, his commitment to building diverse, high-performing teams, and his experience in business transformation as we continue to evolve our go-to-market strategy to reflect the changing customer landscape," Kurian said.

The hiring of Cernuda as president comes at a pivotal time for NetApp.

Kurian, who was appointed NetApp CEO in 2015, led the company through extraordinary growth for several years, followed by a year of falling revenue as the company transformed from a primary focus on on-premises storage to becoming a pioneer in tying on-premises, hybrid cloud, and public cloud storage into a seamless architecture via its Data Fabric platform.

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