30 Notable IT Executive Moves: February 2021
February brought major CEO shakeups at Amazon Web Services and SigFox, plus several other major personnel moves at companies like HP Inc., Salesforce, Dell Technologies, VMware, Akamai and Forescout.
Jassy To The Front
As if January’s CEO shakeups at VMware, Intel and Qualcomm weren’t enough, February went ahead and saw the promotion of Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy to head of Amazon.com, taking over from founder Jeff Bezos, who is stepping down to serve as executive chairman later this year.
But there were many, many more major personnel moves in the IT industry last month, including at companies like SigFox, HP Inc., Salesforce, Dell Technologies, VMware, Akamai and Forescout.
What follows are 30 notable IT executive moves from February 2021.
Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy – credited as the “father” of cloud computing – will be the new CEO of parent company Amazon.com when founder Jeff Bezos steps down and transitions to the role of executive chairman in the third quarter, the company announced in early February.
Jassy, who joined Amazon out of Harvard Business School in 1997, launched AWS in 2006, growing it into the dominant leader of the public cloud computing industry with an annual revenue run rate that now stands at $51 billion and dwarfs rivals Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. AWS revenue jumped to $12.74 billion in the fourth quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2020, up 28 percent year-over-year.
Jassy has shaped AWS under a strategy that includes a very rapid pace of innovation and “customer obsession.” AWS is known for “working backward from customers” in its delivery of new products and services that meet their demand, with technologies from databases and analytics to artificial intelligence and machine learning to edge computing and 5G.
Qualys appointed President and Chief Product Officer Sumedh Thakar to serve as interim CEO and a director on the company’s board as the company’s longtime leader, Phillippe Courtot, stepped aside temporarily to address non-COVID health issues.
Courtot, 75, became Qualys’ chairman and CEO in March 2001, just two years after the company was founded, and also served as the company’s president for most of the past decade until Thakar was promoted to that role. Prior to joining Qualys, Courtot was a serial entrepreneur, serving as chairman and CEO of electronic payment startup Signio, which was acquired by VeriSign in 2000 for $1.3 billion.
Thakar, 44, joined Qualys in February 2003 as a principal engineer and has worked his way up the ranks since then, becoming vice president of engineering in December 2010, chief product officer in June 2014 and adding the president role to his responsibilities in October 2019. Thakar holds a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from the University of Pune, India.
IoT network provider Sigfox appointed Jeremy Prince as its new CEO, taking over from founding leader Ludovic Le Moan.
Prince was most recently president of Sigfox USA and had been on the company’s executive committee since joining as chief strategy officer in 2018.
“Jeremy’s success and experience in leading companies through the evolution of their business models was a deciding factor in our highly selective process that included several external candidates,” said Anne Lauvergeon, chairman of Sigfox, in a statement. “The board is confident that Prince with Franck Siegel as Deputy CEO will efficiently carry out Sigfox’s mission of digitizing the physical world while remaining fully committed to delivering the benefits of IoT in a manner that respects and sustains our environment.”
HP Inc. appointed Mary Myers as the company’s new CFO.
Myers had been serving as the company’s interim CFO since HP’s previous top financial executive, Steve Fieler, left the company in October. She has spent two decades with HP in roles that included global controller and Americas CFO of the company’s Personal Systems business unit. She also previously served as CFO of UiPath, a provider of robotic process automation software.
“Marie is one of HP’s most respected leaders and she has a proven track record of success throughout her career,” said HP CEO Enrique Lores in a statement. “As our acting CFO and chief transformation officer, she has consistently driven strong results, unlocked new sources of value, and positioned us well to deliver on our priorities. Marie’s strategic acuity, operational discipline and purpose-driven leadership will serve us well as we execute our strategy and drive long-term shareholder value.”
Salesforce appointed Vlocity co-founder David Schmaier as president and chief product officer.
Schmaier joined Salesforce in June 2020 as CEO of Salesforce Industries through the company’s 2020 acquisition of Velocity, an industry cloud provider that he led and co-founded. Prior to that, Schmaier was a director at TravelClick.
“He has a deep understanding of industries and enterprise technology, with over three decades of experience building cloud, CRM and industry-specific vertical software companies as an executive, entrepreneur, board member and investor,” Salesforce said in a blog post.
Dell Technologies channel sales leaders Scott Millard and Kelli Furrer were moved into direct sales roles to drive more collaboration between the company’s internal sales arm and channel partners as part of its ongoing “One Dell Technologies” global sales restructuring.
Millard, a longtime channel sales leader, is the company’s new head of enterprise acquisition, leading Dell’s charge to win net new enterprise customers. Millard was previously Dell Technologies’ senior vice president of global channel, alliances and OEM specialty sales. Millard will report to Fran Bogle, senior vice president and general manager of U.S. acquisition, who reports to John Byrne, who now leads North America sales for Dell Technologies.
Furrer is now head of commercial sales in central U.S. Furrer was previously vice president of Federal Channel and Alliances for Dell, responsible for developing and executing business strategies on three major routes to market: federal systems integrator partners, channel and alliances. Furrer, who has been at Dell for a decade, will directly report to Jillian Mansolf, senior vice president and general manager of Dell’s U.S. Corporate & Public Sector Sales, who reports to Byrne.
Forescout Chief Marketing Officer Neville Letzerich departed the company in February, the latest in a string of executive departures for the IoT security vendor.
Letzerich joined Forescout in November 2019 following a short stint at Virtru and was influential to the entire organization, particularly as it relates to the company’s new branding, a source familiar with the situation told CRN. He is being replaced by VP of Revenue Marketing Kerry Ford and VP of Corporate Marketing Katie Beck, who are taking on expanded roles to co-lead marketing, according to Forescout.
Letzerich was at Forescout when the San Jose, Calif.-based company rebranded all its products under the “eye” moniker, with its device visibility offering becoming eyeSight and its policy-based control enforcement tool becoming eyeControl, a solution provider who didn’t wish to be identified told CRN. Aside from that, the partner said Letzerich hadn’t been at Forescout long enough to have much impact.
Dell Technologies OEM executives Bryan Jones and Ron Pugh left the company as part of a sales reorganization that happened last year.
The Round Rock, Texas-based company confirmed to CRN that the restructuring resulted in the departures of Jones and Pugh, who both served in top leadership roles within the OEM Solutions group. They both finished at the end of January.
Jones, a 22-year company veteran, was senior vice president and general manager of OEM Solutions, a business he took over in February 2018 from Joyce Mullen after she was promoted to global channel chief a few months before. Pugh, an 11-year company veteran, was vice president of North American sales for OEM Solutions and reported to Jones.
VMware appointed former Hewlett Packard Enterprise executive Paula Hodgins as its senior vice president of worldwide global accounts and telco sales. She replaced VMware’s Dan Zugelder, who was appointed senior vice president and general manager of the Americas.
Hodgins was previously president of HPE Canada, responsible for leading sales, business operations, strategy, marketing and employee engagement in the country. At HPE, Hodgins ran all customer segments and supported some of Canada’s largest companies and government agencies.
Hodgins’ also spent 13 years at Microsoft in roles including general manager for Intelligent Cloud Sales, responsible for enterprise Azure Cloud sales for customers in Canada. She was also chief operating officer for enterprise sales in the U.S. and Microsoft Canada.
Ampere Computing, a server chip startup, appointed former Intel executive Todd Underwood as CFO, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Underwood was most recently corporate vice president and CFO of the Client Computing Group at Intel, where he worked for more than 28 years. Prior to his most recent role there, Underwood served as the company’s interim CFO to handle the transition from Bob Swan to George Davis.
Other roles Underwood has held at Intel include vice president of finance, corporate planning, reporting and strategy as well as director of finance at Intel Capital.
Alteryx, a provider of analytics process automation software, appointed former Adobe executive Suresh Vittal as chief product officer.
Vittal was previously senior vice president of platform and products at Adobe, where he was instrumental in the Adobe Experience Cloud’s transition from an on-premise to a software-as-a-service product suite. Prior to that, he was chief product officer at Neolane, which Adobe acquired in 2013.
“Suresh is a transformational technology leader who brings world-class software strategy experience and a strong focus on customer needs,” said Mark Anderson, CEO of Alteryx, in a statement. “He will play a critical role in our cloud, data science and analytics automation product strategy. I am pleased to welcome Suresh to the Alteryx executive team.”
Akamai moved around several executives as part of a reorganization that it said is meant to strengthen its edge technology and $1 billion security business.
Longtime Akamai Web Division President and General Manager Rick McConnell was named the lead of the newly formed Security Technology group. The new Edge Technology Group will be led by Adam Karon, who had served as executive vice president and general manager of Akamai’s Media and Carrier Division since March 2017.
In other executive moves, Enterprise Division General Manager and Platform Executive Vice President Robert Blumofe will move into the re-established chief technology officer role. Kim Salem-Jackson, senior vice president and general manager of corporate communications, will take over for Monique Bonner as chief marketing officer. Bonner will move into an executive advisor role in a planned transition that Akamai said will allow her to spend more time with her family while still ensuring the success of key marketing initiatives currently underway.
Five9, a cloud-based contact center software provider, appointed former Cisco engineer Panos Kozanian as executive vice president of cloud operations. He is taking over from Scott Welch, who has become executive vice president of telco services and general manager of Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Kozanian was previously senior director of engineering at Cisco, where he worked for 18 years and most recently led the company’s team responsible for Webex operations.
“Panos joins Five9 at an exciting time in the company’s journey as we continue to grow our markets internationally and continue our expansion into large enterprises,” said Rowan Trollope, CEO at Five9, in a statement. “He brings almost two decades of global enterprise SaaS experience, and has a proven track record of scaling and leading high performing engineering teams, all of which will help fuel our company trajectory as we continue to affirm our leadership in the cloud contact center space.”
Pliops, a storage processor vendor, made four appointments: Angela Restani as vice president of marketing, Marius Tudor as vice president of sales and business development, Ofer Bustin as COO and Edward Bortnikov as vice president of technology.
Restani was most recently executive vice president of marketing for Hedvig and previously served in executive leadership roles at Nutanix and DataEndure. Tudor previously held leadership roles at Liqid, SanDisk, Fusion-io and BitMICRO Networks. Bustin previously served as COO for DustPhotonics. Bortnikov was previously senior director of research at Yahoo!
“At Pliops, we are building a company with truly innovative, differentiated technology and a collaborative, supportive culture,” said Steve Fingerhut, president and chief business officer for Pliops, in a statement. “By strengthening our executive team, we are more ready than ever for what is the most exciting time in our company’s history thus far – mass production of our storage processor. We look forward to working together as we continue to break technology barriers and usher in the next generation of accelerated data centers.”
Fast-growing automation vendor Ivanti brought in former VMware go-to-market leader Erik Randles to help integrate the Ivanti, MobileIron and Pulse Secure partner programs together.
The South Jordan, Utah-based automation platform provider has tasked Randles as its new senior vice president of global channels and alliances with taking the more than 10,000 solution providers across the three organizations and creating a three-tiered partner program that incentivizes cross-selling and rewards the most committed partners.
Rankles was most recently vice president of global business development and alliance sales for VMware’s cloud management software-as-a-service business. Prior to that, he was vice president of global business development and alliance sales for Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s SimpliVity business.
Commvault appointed former Salesforce executive Isabelle Guis as CMO.
Guis was most recently vice president of sales cloud product marketing at Salesforce. Prior to that, she was chief marketing and strategy officer at Egnyte. She has also held executive and senior management roles at EMC, Big Switch Networks, Avaya, Cisco Systems and Nortel Networks.
“With Commvault‘s strong momentum and leading product portfolio, it’s the perfect time for Isabelle to join,” said Sanjay Mirchandani, CEO of Commvault, in a statement. “Based in the Bay Area, her experience is well aligned to our business and I’m confident her leadership will help drive our next phase of company growth.”
Cybereason recruited Check Point channel leader Abigail Maines and Fortinet veteran Stephen Tallent to oversee traditional channels and MSSPs in North America, respectively.
The Boston-based endpoint security vendor tapped Maines and Tallent to boost solution provider profitability, drive synergy with the commercial sales organization, and identify partners interested in detection and response services. Maines and Tallent both report to Eric Appel, senior vice president and general manager for North American sales.
Tallent spent the past nearly nine years overseeing MSSPs and service enablement globally for Fortinet, while Maines spent the past year-and-a-half as Check Point’s Americas channel chief. The two are being joined by Ahmed Saleh, who’s overseeing incident response services in the region. Maines is taking over for Joe O’Donnell, who left Cybereason in November to become Splunk’s field security solutions sales leader.
Invicti Security appointed former Rapid7 channel director John Andrews as vice president of global channel for the company’s Acunetix and Netsparker products.
Andrews was most recently director of international channels at Rapid7. Prior to that, he was vice president of worldwide channels at Centrify. He has also held roles at Juniper Networks, McAfee, F5, Computerlinks Distribution and Beyondtrust.
“Bringing John on board is a big step forward as we continue to drive growth and revenue through our channel program,” said Ferruh Mavituna, CEO of Invicti Security, in a statement. “He’s enabled partners around the world to be more successful in the highly-competitive cybersecurity space and will help our channel program continue to thrive.”
Channel veteran Bob Kilbride joined Perimeter 81 as the head of channels for the three-year old cloud networking provider.
Kilbride, vice president of channel sales for Perimeter 81, comes to the company from VMware-owned CloudHealth where he served as senior director of global channel sales for the past four years.
Kilbride worked for CloudHealth for four years before and after the company was acquired by VMware. Prior to that, Kilbride served as partner account manager of IoT device experience for Microsoft for 11 years. He also held positions at Wind River Systems and Blackberry QNX.
Bishop Fox, a provider of offensive security testing services, appointed former TrustArc executive Joe Green as vice president of engineering to lead the company’s Continuous Attack Surfacing Testing managed security service.
Most recently, Green was vice president of engineering at TrustArc. Prior to that, he served in engineering management at Google following the company’s 2007 acquisition of Postini, where he developed the company’s email archiving and discovery service.
“CAST has been a game-changer for our customers,” said COO Bill Carroll at Bishop Fox in a statement. “The platform codifies and focuses the unparalleled – and growing – experience and expertise of the Bishop Fox team. From Verisign to Google, Joe’s track record in harnessing and enabling the full potential of engineering teams and cutting-edge security technologies is a perfect fit for taking CAST to the next level. He truly understands the need and knows how to speak the language of our CAST customers, which will be instrumental in keeping ahead of the security curve.”
1Password appointed former Malwarebytes executive Akshay Bhargava as chief product officer and general manager of emerging solutions.
Bhargava was most recently chief product officer at Malwarebytes. Prior to that, he oversaw the release of new cloud security, monitoring and analytics services as an executive at Oracle Cloud Business Group. He also served as a product leader at FireEye and as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.
“Akshay has an extraordinary track record,” said 1Password CEO Jeff Shiner in a statement. “Time and again he has shown the vision needed to deliver products that the market is crying out for – and that customers prefer to use. I look forward to working with Akshay to take 1Password to the next level.”
Rockset, a provider of real-time indexing database software, appointed to the roles of chief product officer and senior vice president of marketing.
Bhat was previously the company’s senior vice president of product and marketing. Prior to joining the company in 2017, she was senior director of product management at Oracle, which she joined in 2016 through the company’s acquisition of Ravello Systems. At Ravello, she had served as vice president of marketing. Prior to that, she held product and engineering roles at VMware, IBM and Hewlett-Packard.
“As one of our founding team members, Shruti has been a key component to Rockset’s success to date,” said Venkat Venkataramani, co-founder and CEO of Rockset, in a statement. “As we look ahead, there is no better leader than Shruti to help usher the company into its next phase of growth.”
Microsoft 365 data management and migration specialist AvePoint appointed Jason Beal, a former Palo Alto Networks channel leader, as its new head of global channel and partner ecosystems as the company prepares to go public.
Beal, who has more than 20 years of experience in the tech sector, told CRNtv, “First and foremost, I’m going to listen and learn,” when asked what his top priorities are for the channel in 2021.
Most recently, Beal was senior director of global distribution channel at Palo Alto Networks, where he worked for more than six years. Prior to that, spent more than nine years at Ingram Micro.
Database software provider SingleStore made two appointments: Oliver Schabenberger as chief innovation officer and Paul Forte as chief revenue officer.
Schabenberger was most recently COO and chief technology officer at SAS. Forte was previously president of global field operations at Actifio, which was recently acquired by Google.
“SingleStore is excited to welcome Paul, a seasoned, respected CRO who will be instrumental in our future growth globally,” said SingleStore CEO Raj Verma in a statement. “This comes on the heels of our addition of SingleStore’s first chief innovation officer. We couldn’t find ourselves in a stronger position or with a better CRO to add to our executive leadership team. Paul has a rich history in all things data.”
Simeio, a provider of identity and access management software, appointed former ACI Worldwide executive Owen Newman as CFO.
Most recently, Newman was senior vice president of finance and divisional chief financial officer at ACI Worldwide. Prior to that, he held CFO roles at Paycommerce Inc. and International SOS Inc. He also was senior finance leader for WorldPay.
“Owen’s background in leading business transformations that were market disruptors within various industries will translate well for Simeio, as he architects our operations and financial models to drive our next phase of growth,” said Chris Schueler, CEO at Simeio, in a statement. “Identity platforms are becoming central to the security and compliance required for digital transformation strategies, and I look forward to working with Owen to continue Simeio’s trajectory as the global leader in this growing market.”
UrsaLeo, a provider of enterprise visualization software for facilities and products, appointed Ian Kanski to the role of chief technology officer.
Kanski most recently served as senior principal cloud architect for Dell’s Boomi business. Prior to that, he was associate vice president of cloud integration and automation for 1st Source Bank. He also worked for Raytheon and Silent Circle in addition to serving as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“With a solid background in cloud-based solutions and security technology, Ian is the perfect complement to our talented team of leading engineers and seasoned executives,” Angie Sticher, COO and chief product officer of UrsaLeo, said in a statement. “UrsaLeo is in an exciting growth period and from the beginning of his tenure, Ian has brought incredible energy and unbounded creativity while embracing the daily challenges inherent with rapid expansion.”
Igor, a provider of smart building automation solutions, made four appointments: Laura Goedken as chief financial officer, James Oldham as senior vice president of sales, Craig Getchell as sales director and Lisa Acheson as partner marketing manager. The company also promoted Kim Johnson to vice president of marketing from her previous director role.
Goedken was most recently CFO for ToxPath Solutions and Services, a professional services and software-as-a-service firm in Piscataway, N.J. Oldham previously led the collaboration go-to-market strategy for NTT, formerly known as Dimension Data. Getchell was previously vice president practice lead in the U.S. for EDGE Building Intelligence Group. Acheson previously worked in multiple marketing roles at Textura, a software firm focused on collaboration products for construction teams.
“The strengthening of Igor’s executive leadership team comes at the perfect time as the Company has dramatically outperformed the industry by delivering 176 percent [compounded annual growth rate] over the past four years and is forecasting revenue to better than triple in 2021 as we continue to enjoy accelerating market acceptance of our Agile Smart Building solutions,” said Steven L’Heureux, CEO and president of Igor, in a statement. “Valuable business outcomes such as improved occupant health and productivity as well as achieving a net zero carbon footprint for commercial real estate have never been more important to our customers and Igor’s IoT enabled Smart Building solutions are delivering on those important corporate goals.”
Brisbane, Australia-based network-as-a-service provider Megaport appointed former IBM executive Rodney Foreman to the newly created role of chief revenue officer.
Foreman was most recently chief revenue officer at Colbalt Iron. Before that, he was senior vice president of global channel sales at Nutanix and senior vice president of channel sales at Informatica. He had previously spend 16 years at IBM, where he served in channel sales leadership roles.
“We are excited to bring Rodney‘s deep expertise and track record in leading global sales organisations to Megaport,” said Vincent English, CEO of Megaport, in a statement. “With the coming launch of Megaport Virtual Edge (MVE), which will enable the hosting of Network Function Virtualization (NFV), such as SD-WAN capabilities, Megaport has never been in a better position to maximise the revenue opportunities of a tailored and robust channel programme.”
Former SAP executive Dmitri Krakovsky was appointed chief product officer of Unit4, a provider of enterprise cloud applications for mid-market services organizations.
Krakovsky held a variety of leadership roles, including senior vice president and head of human capital management products at SAP SuccessFactors. He was also head of product management for Intuit Quickbooks and, most recently, was vice president of products at Google, where he focused on machine learning-enabled applications and data services for the Google Cloud Platform.
“I am delighted to welcome Dmitri to Unit4 as our new Chief Product Officer,” said Mike Ettling, CEO at Unit4, in a statement. “His wealth of knowledge and experience makes him the right person to lead the development and delivery of our products. We have an opportunity to truly re-define ERP, particularly as we witness organizations rapidly pivot towards digital transformation strategies to help adjust to changes in the market, the needs of the communities in which they do business and, of course, engage and enable their most valuable asset, their people.”
Cathie Wood, CEO and founder of New York-based investment adviser Ark Investment Management, joined the board of directors of hybrid edge cloud company mimic technology.
“As the Founder, CEO, and CIO of ARK, Cathie has successfully incorporated a new data-driven approach to investment that is aligned with a rapidly changing business and technology landscape posed for a historical transformation,” Fay Arjomandi, founder and CEO of mimic, said in a statement. “I’m excited to work with a forward-thinking visionary and pragmatic industry leader.”
“I’ve always believed in backing founders who are at the forefront of innovation,” Wood said in a statement. “At mimik, Fay and her team have built a foundation for the next generation of cloud computing. By extending server-side technologies to the edge, mimik lets developers build applications that run seamlessly from the edge to data center with unmatched privacy and performance.”