30 Notable IT Executive Moves: March 2021

Major executive moves continued to happen in 2021, with new leaders being named at Amazon Web Services and Forescout. Big personnel changes also happened at Microsoft, Dell Technologies, Intel, AMD, IBM and Google Cloud.

New Execs At Cradlepoint, Imperva And Oracle Too

March brought major changes in executive leadership teams for companies like Amazon Web Services, Forescout and Intel, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg among last month’s personnel moves.

There were also comings and goings at Microsoft, Dell Technologies, AMD, IBM, Google Cloud, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Micron Technology and Forcepoint.

What follows are 30 notable IT executive moves from March 2021.

Adam Selipsky

Amazon named Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky as the next leader of its Amazon Web Services cloud computing business.

Selipsky, who previously served as vice president of marketing, sales and support for Seattle-based AWS until his 2016 move to Tableau, will succeed founding AWS CEO Andy Jassy. In February, it was announced that Jassy would replace Jeff Bezos as CEO of parent company Amazon beginning in the third quarter that starts in July.

“Adam brings strong judgment, customer obsession, team building, demand generation and CEO experience to an already very strong AWS leadership team,” Jassy said in an email to AWS employees announcing Selipsky’s appointment. “And, having been in such a senior role at AWS for 11 years, he knows our culture and business well.”

Wael Mohamed

Forescout will have its third CEO in six months after tapping former Trend Micro President and COO Wael Mohamed to take over as its top leader.

The San Jose, Calif.-based IoT security vendor brought in Mohamed to replace Greg Clark, who had just started as Forescout’s CEO in October 2020 after leading Symantec for many years. Clark took over for Michael DeCesare, who ran Forescout for nearly six years but left after the company’s contentious $1.4 billion sale to private equity firm Advent International. Clark and DeCesare continue to lead Forescout’s board.

Mohamed joined Trend Micro in May 2009 following its acquisition of Third Brigade, which he co-founded. He came to Trend Micro as a vice president and rose up the ranks, spending his final five years as the Tokyo-based endpoint security vendor’s COO and final three years as president before leaving in December 2018. Mohamed helped Trend Micro add more than $4 billion in shareholder value.

Philippe Courtot

Serial entrepreneur Philippe Courtot resigned from his role as Qualys’ CEO for health reasons after leading the cloud security vendor for two decades. Courtot will remain a director on Qualys’ board until his current term ends at the 2021 annual meeting of stockholders and will not stand for re-election.

The departure of Courtot, 76, from Foster City, Calif.-based Qualys was announced six weeks after he temporarily stepped aside to address non-COVID health issues. Courtot’s top deputy—President and Chief Product Officer Sumedh Thakar—has served as Qualys’ interim CEO and board member since Feb. 7, and Thakar will remain in both positions on an interim basis going forward.

“Since becoming CEO 20 years ago, Philippe has built Qualys into a leading provider of cloud-based information security and compliance solutions, and we are incredibly grateful for his vision and leadership,” Qualys Lead Independent Director Sandra Bergeron said in a statement. “On behalf of Qualys’ Board and all our employees, we keep Philippe and his family in our thoughts.”

Ken Patchett

ServerDomes, a Portland-based data center provider, appointed Facebook data center operations veteran Ken Patchett as its CEO, taking over from Alan Resnik, who is now executive chairperson.

Patchett was most recently vice president of data center services at Oracle and, before that, senior director of global infrastructure at Amazon subsidiary Twitch. Before that, he spent seven years at Facebook as senior director of data center operations, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has also served in network and data center operations roles at Google and Microsoft.

“ServerDomes embodies the type of initiative and innovation that is desperately needed in the data center space,” Patchett said in a statement. ”The need for cost-effective sustainable data centers closest to where the users are is growing exponentially around the world. ServerDomes technology will enable more choices in site selection, environmental stewardship, configurability and cost control to both enterprise and hybrid-cloud based companies. I look forward to launching ServerDomes into the next phase and helping enhance access to technology around the world.”

Ari Santiago

Managed services provider CompassMSP acquired fellow MSP IT Direct and in the process landed a new CEO, Ari Santiago.

Santiago was IT Direct’s founder and CEO and is taking over the reins of CompassMSP from the company’s interim CEO, Josh Kotler, who has moved to become the MSP’s chief strategy officer and head of acquisitions. Kotler had run CompassMSP since Tom Praschak, the MSP’s former president and CEO, stepped down in September to become the company’s senior vice president of central operations.

“We’re focused on building a world-class MSP,” Santiago said. “We are not looking at growth for growth’s sake, but we’re driving growth for the value it provides for clients. We’re looking for like-minded MSPs who focus on quality, and for tuck-in acquisitions to fit the markets we are in and bigger acquisitions to grow. We anticipate making acquisitions nationwide.”

Rodney Clark

In a shakeup of its partner ecosystem leadership, Microsoft named Rodney Clark as its new channel chief, replacing Gavriella Schuster, who’s exiting the role after five years.

A 23-year Microsoft veteran, Clark had been leading its IoT and mixed reality sales for more than 3.5 years, most recently as corporate vice president, with responsibilities for building intelligent systems from edge to cloud and mixed reality capabilities, and driving sales and go-to-market execution with partners and customers. He also served as general manager of IoT for another four years.

The leadership change took effect April 1, and Schuster will retain her title as corporative vice president of One Commercial Partner for a few months as she helps Clark transition to his role and she determines the “next chapter of her career,” according to the company.

Driss El Ougmani

Dell Technologies confirmed the promotion of longtime Dell veteran Driss El Ougmani as the $94 billion company’s new head of global channel and specialty sales. Ougmani replaces Scott Millard, who left the position earlier this year to become senior vice president of enterprise sales at Dell.

Ougmani had been with the Round Rock, Texas-based company for nearly two decades mainly in executive roles in for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Effective immediately, Ougmani is now the new leader of Dell’s Global Channel, Alliances and OEM Specialty sales team. Dell has been restructuring its channel sales strategy as well as its sales leadership team since last year in a move to give channel partners more revenue opportunities.

Prior roles Ougmani held at Dell include general manager of Mediterranean and French Africa, as well as executive director and general manager of enterprise solutions in EMEA.

Uri Frank

Google Cloud hired Intel engineering veteran Uri Frank to lead new server chip design efforts as part of the cloud service provider’s increasing investments in custom silicon.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based cloud vendor said March 22 that it was “doubling down” on custom chips as “one way to boost performance and efficiency” in its servers, expanding beyond the work it has done in introducing the Tensor Processing Unit, the Video Processing Unit and the open-source OpenTitan silicon root-of-trust project over the past six years.

Frank was previously with Intel for more than 20 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was most recently head of Intel’s Core and Client Development Group and had been promoted to corporate vice president last month, according to Israeli news outlet Calcalistech.

Terry Richardson

AMD has hired former Hewlett Packard Enterprise channel superstar Terry Richardson to lead commercial channel sales in North America as the chipmaker doubles down on solution provider partners to ramp up competition against Intel and Nvidia.

Richardson’s new role as North America channel chief puts the 11-year HPE veteran in charge of all partner relationships—from distributors to national solution providers and other kinds of resellers—for commercial sales of CPUs and GPUs through server and PC OEMs. He also now oversees AMD’s commercial components channel, which includes systems integrators and white-box system builders.

Richardson has joined the sales division of AMD’s Datacenter and Embedded Solutions Group, which is led by former Dell server executive Forrest Norrod. Richardson reports to Jason Mooneyham, a former Lenovo executive who is corporate vice president of Americas sales, and to Paul Morris, an Intel and HPE veteran who is senior director of North American sales.

Kathryn Guarini

IBM named a new chief information officer, Kathryn Guarini, who comes to the position from roles within the IBM Research division.

Guarini, who spent two decades with IBM and holds a doctorate in applied physics from Stanford University, has succeeded outgoing CIO Fletcher Previn, who departed “to pursue other opportunities.” Previn had spent 15 years with IBM, including nearly four years as CIO, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Most recently, Guarini had served as vice president of impact science at IBM Research, and before that was the division’s chief operations officer. She spent a total of four years at IBM Research, and prior to that had held numerous other roles within IBM, starting in 1999, when she joined as a research staff member, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Fran Katsoudas

Cisco Systems promoted three executives: Fran Katsoudas to chief people, policy and purpose officer; Liz Centoni to chief strategy officer and general manager of Cisco’s Applications business; and Maria Martinez to chief operating officer.

Katsoudas got her start with Cisco 25 years ago as a contact center agent. Since then, the longtime executive has moved up the ranks with the company‘s HR team and spent the last five years running Cisco’s People and Communities organization. A Cisco veteran of more than two decades, Centoni began as senior director of engineering for the tech company in 2000, and she’s held a number of vice president-level engineering and strategy roles.

Martinez, Cisco’s executive vice president and chief customer experience officer since 2018, is now taking over at the operations helm, but she will also continue to lead customer experience. The operations role was previously held by Irving Tan, who left the company in December for personal reasons after two years in the role and 14 years with Cisco.

Doug Smith

Oracle hired longtime Microsoft executive Doug Smith as senior vice president and head of strategic partnerships to develop the partner strategy at the cloud infrastructure and database giant.

As part of his role at Oracle, Smith will be responsible for developing a partner strategy related to cloud alliances and relationships with independent software vendors—with the aim of helping to drive revenue and customer satisfaction, according to a company memo. Oracle’s strategic alliances and inbound licensing teams will work with Smith.

At Microsoft, Smith served as a general manager focused on partner, cloud and AI business development for more than eight years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He initially joined Microsoft in 2004. Previous Microsoft roles included chief financial officer of the Health Solutions Group and finance director of global research and development. Prior to joining Microsoft, he worked at Intel and PwC.

Justin Hotard

Hewlett Packard Enterprise named rising star Justin Hotard as the new general manager of the company’s high-performance compute business, replacing former Cray CEO Pete Ungaro.

Ungaro joined HPE as senior president and general manager of high-performance computing and mission-critical solutions after HPE acquired supercomputer pioneer Cray for $1.3 billion in 2019.

Hotard, who will report directly to HPE President and CEO Antonio Neri and will also oversee the company’s research and development arm HPE Labs, joined HPE in 2015 and has played a key role in a number of critical areas, including most recently helping to accelerate HPE’s pivot to an Everything-as-a-Service model.

Praveen Jonnala

Network infrastructure provider CommScope promoted Praveen Jonnala, an executive who has been with the company for more than a decade, to chief information officer. He is replacing Karen Renner, CommScope’s senior vice president and CIO, who left the company in November.

Jonnala has been with the company since 2008 and most recently served as global vice president of digital transformation and business solutions. In this capacity, he directed all aspects of strategy, development and delivery of digital transformation for Commscope by partnering with different business areas of the company, such as sales, marketing, supply chain, manufacturing and finance.

Prior to his more than 12 years with CommScope, Jonnala had experience in global operations and supply chain, as well as product management with the likes of Sun Microsystems and Ford/Mazda Motor Company.

Stephanie Buscemi

Confluent, an event streaming software provider, appointed former Salesforce executive Stephanie Buscemi as CMO.

Buscemi was most recently global CMO at Salesforce, where she led a team of 1,400 marketers across the world. Prior to that, she served as CMO at IHS Inc. and senior vice president of marketing at SAP. He has also worked at Oracle, Business Objects and Hyperion Solutions.

“Stephanie is the embodiment of a modern marketing leader and I couldn’t be more excited she’s joining our team,” said Jay Kreps, co-founder and CEO of Confluent, in a statement. “Her experience and success leading marketing for one of the most iconic cloud companies of our time will play an instrumental role as Confluent enters into our next phase.”

Raj Hazra

Micron Technology appointed former Intel executive Raj Hazra as senior vice president and general manager of the company’s Compute and Networking Business Unit. He is taking over from Tom Eby, who is retiring and will serve as a senior adviser through April.

Hazra joined Micron in June 2020 as senior vice president of strategy and communications. Prior to that, he spent more than 24 years at Intel, where he was most recently corporate vice president and general manager of enterprise and government within Intel’s Data Center Group.

“Raj’s strong technical acumen and deep experience in data centers make him an exceptional choice to lead our Compute and Networking Business Unit. I am excited to have Raj at the helm of our largest business as we seek to leverage opportunities in cloud, high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and client computing,” said Sumit Sadana, executive vice president and chief business officer at Micron, in a statement. “Tom has driven tremendous growth during his tenure at Micron, and we thank him for his many contributions to the company and the industry at large.”

Vita Shannon

Business intelligence software developer Domo hired former KPMG executive Vita Shannon to be the company’s new channel chief with the task of expanding the company’s strategic partner ecosystem.

Shannon, who holds the title of vice president of partnerships and ecosystem at Domo, reports to Chief Revenue Officer Ian Tickle. Domo also said it has hired Accenture Interactive executive Shelley Morrison as the company’s new vice president of demand center.

Shannon “brings years of experience in business development and partner strategy” to the job, Domo said. At KPMG Shannon was most recently the senior director of advisory services, focused on managing the company’s relationship with Ford, a major client, and KPMG’s two largest technology accounts. Shannon was also responsible for KPMG’s co-selling partnerships with IT companies including IBM, Oracle, SAP, Salesforce and ServiceNow.

Mark Nehring

Forcepoint North American channel chief Mark Nehring was among roughly 10 North American channel employees let go by the company after it was bought by Francisco Partners, sources told CRN.

As a result, the source said Forcepoint now has just a senior manager and four CAMs covering all of North America, where the company transacts around $500 million to $600 million each year through the channel. The cuts leave Forcepoint’s North American channel team at just one-third its previous size and without staff dedicated to partners like Optiv, Insight, CDW and ICM, who contribute some 80 percent of revenue.

Global Vice President of Channel Sales Oni Chakravartti remains with the company, as does Vice President of North American Sales Jeffrey Giannetti, who was Nehring’s supervisor. Forcepoint is hiring for engineering, customer support and sales roles supporting its enterprise and government customers, the company told CRN.

Micheal McCollough

Imperva brought on longtime Akamai global channel chief Micheal McCollough to scale the data protection vendor’s channel business and create new partnerships.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company tasked McCollough with boosting Imperva’s transformation to a channel-first company by further developing and growing the Imperva Partner Ecosystem. McCollough replaces Jim Ritchings, who retired in February after leading global channels at Imperva for two and a half years and previously serving as global channel chief for Trustwave and F5 Networks.

McCollough had spent more than six years leading global channels and alliances at Akamai, where he in January rolled out a new partner program that more than doubled margins for solution providers who deliver design and implementation services. Under McCollough, Akamai drove $1 billion of revenue via the channel, and delivered more than 70 percent of the company’s new business through partners.

Robert Brower

Cloud data protection and management vendor Druva appointed Commvault veteran Robert Brower as its new senior vice president of worldwide partners and alliances.

Brower joined Druva in the summer of 2020 as vice president of strategic operations and chief of staff, “which has really opened the door for my insight in terms of being able to lead our channel partners, lead our channel organization and create great value for our partners, our alliances and ultimately for our global customers,” Brower told CRNtv.

Prior to joining Druva, Brower was vice president of technical partnerships at Tealium, a customer data platform provider. He previously worked for 13 years at Commvault, where he held numerous positions, including as global vice president of products.

Josh Walden

Top Intel security executive Josh Walden is set to retire from the company after working there for nearly 40 years, prompting a realignment of the two organizations he led.

Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s new CEO, announced Walden’s retirement March 24 in a companywide email seen by CRN. He said Walden, who reported to Gelsinger, will take a “well-deserved” sabbatical starting March 29 and that Walden’s last day at the company will be May 7.

A senior vice president at Intel, Walden was part of the executive leadership team and served most recently as general manager of the Intel Product Assurance and Security and Security Architecture and Engineering organizations. He joined the Intel Product Assurance and Security group when it was formed in 2018 in response to the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. He then became the group’s leader when his predecessor, Leslie Culbertson, retired in early 2020.

Michael Oberlaender

LogMeIn appointed security and privacy veteran Michael Oberlaender as its new chief information security officer.

The Boston-based company said Oberlaender has held several CISO positions in various industries and markets and holds several security certifications, from CISM to ISSA. His past employers include Cisco Systems, Tailored Brands Inc. and FMC Technologies.

“Michael is an established information security leader with a proven track record of developing and leading corporate IT and information security programs for global organizations. We are thrilled to have him join the team at LogMeIn,” said Ian Pitt, CIO at LogMeIn, in a statement. “With Michael’s experience, we gain a strategic partner to establish and improve the software development life cycle and optimize the company’s security culture. We believe his security acumen and leadership abilities will contribute significantly to the success of our security operations and growth of the entire organization.”

Alex Thurber

Virtana, a provider of observability platform for cloud workloads, made two appointments: Alex Thurber as senior vice president of customer success and channel strategy, and Jonathan Cyr as vice president of product management.

Thurber was most recently chief revenue officer at secure access software provider Pulse Secure. Before that, he was senior vice president and general manager of the Mobility Solutions business unit at BlackBerry. In addition to channel strategy and field operations roles at Watchguard, Tripwire and McAfee, Thurber spent 10 years leading channel strategy at Cisco for several advanced technologies.

Cyr was most recently vice president of strategy for enterprise technology services at multinational insurance company Manulife. Prior to that he was head of products at John Hancock. He also served as director of hybrid cloud product management at Dell EMC, where he worked for more than three years. He previously worked at Hewlett-Packard for 14 years.

Stacey Epstein

Freshworks, a provider of customer engagement software, appointed former ServiceMax executive Stacey Epstein as CMO.

Epstein was most recently chief marketing and customer experience officer at ServiceMax, which she served across two stints. Prior to her most recent role at ServiceMax, she was CEO of Zinc Inc., which was acquired by ServiceMax in 2019. She previously worked with ServiceMax from its early days to its nearly $1 billion acquisition by GE. She also worked at SuccessFactors through its sale to SAP.

“Stacey is a talented leader who has built well-known brands from early stage through successful exits including both IPOs and multibillion-dollar acquisitions. She’ll play a huge role in our next phase of growth,” said Girish Mathrubootham, CEO of Freshworks, in a statement. “More than that, she is a genuine and passionate person who will help us maintain our remarkable culture as we continue to scale our global product company.”

Ajay Sabhlok

Rubrik, a cloud data management software provider, promoted Ajay Sabhlok to the role of chief information officer and chief data officer.

Sabhlok was most recently vice president and head of IT enterprise business applications at Rubrik. Prior to joining the company, he worked for eight years at VMware, where he led multiple AI application portfolios. He also served in roles at Logitech, Siebel Systems (now part of Oracle) and Mercury Interactive (now part of Hewlett-Packard).

“IT environments are only increasing in complexity, and as data continues to grow exponentially, so does the need to protect this data. Following a highly successful tenure as VP of IT, Ajay is in the perfect position to deliver immediate impact in his new role as CIO and CDO,” said Kiran Choudary, CFO of Rubrik, in a statement. “His experience in technology and applications makes him an ideal leader for our next stage of growth and development. As our enterprise sector continues to grow, Ajay will play a critical role in our expansion moving forward.”

Paul Lewis

Pythian Services, a data, analytics and cloud services company, appointed former Hitachi Vantara executive Paul Lewis as CTO.

Lewis was most recently global CTO at Hitachi Vantara, where he worked for eight years, which includes when the company was previously named Hitachi Data Systems.

“Paul’s extensive understanding of the complexities inherent in IT operations, cloud strategy and digital transformation will bring vast insights to our customers and partners,” said Pythian President Keith Millar in a statement. “His knowledge will be a driving force behind the innovations Pythian brings to its clients.”

Lisa Wight

Boise, Idaho-based Cradlepoint made three recent leadership hires: Lisa Wight as vice president of global distribution and partner program, Krissy Kelley as vice president of global partner and field marketing and Darryl Brick as vice president of partner sales for Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Wight has previous distribution and channel experience from Dell. Kelley served in senior marketing and channel leadership roles at Fortinet, Citrix and RSA. And Brick has previous EMEA channel experience from Juniper Networks, Infoblox, Imperva and ServiceNow.

“Bringing best-in-class products to market is only possible with a best-in-class channel and a world-class partner program that brings them all together,” said Eric Purcell, senior vice president of global partner and alliances at Cradlepoint, in a statement. ”To accelerate LTE and 5G Wireless WAN adoption and support our growth plan, we are making significant investments in people, programs and platforms. Investments include new platforms that make Cradlepoint easier to do business with, helping our partners get 5G training and deliver a Wireless WAN practice, and hiring experienced distribution and partner marketing and sales leaders that can deliver an immediate impact.”

Randy Littleson

Conga, a provider of commercial operations software, appointed former Flexera executive Randy Littleson as CMO.

Littleson was most recently CMO and senior vice president of global expansion at NICE inContact, a provider of contact center and workforce optimization solutions. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of marketing at Flexera Software, where he worked for more than six years.

“As Conga embarks on the next chapter of our growth journey, we are very excited to welcome Randy to the team. His extensive experience with scaling high-growth companies and deep-rooted passion for corporate culture makes him the perfect fit for the CMO position at Conga,” said Noel Goggin, CEO of Conga, in a statement. “Randy’s entrepreneurial spirit and teamwork mentality goes directly in line with that of the ‘Conga Way.’ We couldn’t be more thrilled to have him join our executive team to lead our highly skilled team of marketers to fuel Conga’s trajectory as an industry leader.”

J.C. Vega

Devo, a provider of cloud-native logging and security analytics software, made four senior executive hires: J.C. Vega as chief information security officer; Lars Wiesner as senior vice president of product engineering and operations; Kayla Williams as vice president of IT governance, risk and compliance; and Matt Westover as vice president of North America sales.

Vega was previously an executive security advisor for IBM Security and also held several leadership and operational roles in cybersecurity with the U.S. government. Wiesner was previously vice president of engineering at software provider Selligent and spent 16 years before that at SAP. Williams was previously director of government, risk and compliance for LogMeIn. Westover was previously vice president of enterprise financial accounts for the financial services vertical at F5 Networks.

“Devo has cemented itself as a disruptive force in the cybersecurity market, and we are surpassing entrenched legacy technologies by continuing to invest in innovation and unmatched talent,” said Devo CEO Marc van Zadelhoff in a statement. “The industry’s all-out sprint to the cloud and the exploding volumes of log and security data are propelling Devo’s growth trajectory, and the addition of these powerhouse leaders will help accelerate our growth and increase the pace of innovation we deliver to our customers.”

Nick Katzenbach

Nerdery, a Minneapolis-based digital consultancy, appointed former HCL Technologies executive Nick Katzenbach as chief growth officer.

Katzenbach was most recently senior vice president at life sciences consulting firm The Evanston Group. Prior to that, he was senior vice president at RevUnit and vice president at HCL Technologies.

“We’re excited to grow our strategic initiatives and sales expertise with the addition of Nick Katzenbach to the leadership team,” said Nerdery CEO Michael Schmidt in a statement. “Under Nick’s direction, we will be able to boost our presence in target markets by expanding our innovative approach to client engagements. Nick’s extensive experience at leading digital transformation agencies is a great addition to Nerdery’s C-suite.”