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August 14, 2020

Big Data Career Notes: August 2020 Edition

In this monthly feature, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the big data community. Whether it’s a promotion, new company hire, or even an accolade, we’ve got the details. Check in each month for an updated list and you may even come across someone you know, or better yet, yourself!

Rishi Diwan

Exasol appointed Rishi Diwan as chief product officer. As CPO, Diwan will be responsible for leading the company-wide product strategy.  Diwan brings over a 25-year career in data and analytics, working at companies like Salesforce, STATS, SAP, and Oracle.  Most recently he led product management for data science products at Salesforce

“I am thrilled to be joining Exasol during a crucial time in its growth. The promise of data to guide organizations through uncertain times has never been greater,” said Diwan. “Exasol delivers on this promise by giving organizations an enduring performance advantage in their ambition to make the world better through data.”

Harsha Jalihal

Harsha Jalihal joins MongoDB, Inc. as its chief people officer and will be responsible for the business’s human resources operations worldwide. Jalihal comes from Unilever, where she was vice president of HR. She also contributed some of her time to the World Economic Forum and co-authored HR 4.0.

“To oversee and shape the future of HR for a knowledge-based company that is growing as quickly as MongoDB is an exciting challenge,” said Jalihal. “I’m looking forward to working with Dev and the leadership team to develop a people and culture strategy that is in service of MongoDB’s business strategy, and to ensure the culture that makes this company wonderful continues to evolve to attract and retain the very best people in the industry.”

Angel Mendez

LevaData appointed Angel Mendez to its board of directors as executive chairman. Before LevaData, Mendez held the executive vice president and chief operating officer roles at HERE Technologies. He has also held senior executive roles at AlliedSignal, Citigroup, Gateway, and Palm.

“I’m excited to be joining LevaData’s Board of Directors,” Mendez said. “I’ve been a fan of LevaData ever since Rajesh shared his original vision for the company. There is an unprecedented opportunity to drive digital transformation for supply chains and direct material procurement at an accelerated pace. LevaData has set the bar on direct material procurement technology innovation and I look forward to helping LevaData deliver value at scale across customers.”

Scott Mersy

BigID announced the addition of Scott Mersy as chief marketing officer. Mersy will be responsible for managing BigID’s go-to-market strategies. He comes from Automation Anywhere, where he held the role of executive vice president of the Global Demand Gen, Digital & Content Marketing division.

He also held the role of senior vice president of Global Marketing at ServiceNow. Mersy has over a 20-year career with cloud, SaaS, and enterprise tech background in digital marketing, website and product marketing, demand generation, and sales development.

Sarah Shin

Cloudera promoted Sarah Shin to the newly created role of chief diversity officer from head of diversity, inclusion & learning, where she managed multiple diversity and inclusion initiatives. Before Cloudera, Shin held multiple leadership positions at Apple, LeapFrog, and HPE.

“The spotlight has been put on diversity and inclusion in the workplace at Cloudera, and I am humbled and proud to take on this strategic role,” said Shin. “I’m looking forward to working closely with the Equality Committee, the Employee Resource Advisory Board, the Leadership teams and the passionate change agents at Cloudera to advance the inclusive employee experience, providing progressive development opportunities around equality and belonging, and driving operational excellence within the organization.”

David Simmen

David E. Simmen joins Ahana as chief technology officer. He will be responsible for the company’s technology strategy, and at the same time, leading product development. Simmen comes from Apple, where he led the company’s iCloud database services development. Before Apple, he held the role of chief architect at Splunk.

“Given the spread of data across data lakes, data warehouses, and the plethora of relational and non-relational data services being offered today, the need for unified, federated analytics is only increasing. Presto is one of the most popular federated query engines but it’s missing fundamental optimizations developed over the decades by academic researchers and industry pioneers,” said Simmen. “That needs to be applied to Presto, making it even more powerful to eventually become the heart of the unified, federated analytical stack. I look forward to working with the Ahana team to turn this vision into reality.”

The Alan Turing Institute Board of Trustees

The Alan Turing Institute appointed Baroness Nicola Blackwood, Dr. Vanessa Lawrence, Carina Namih, and Hitesh Thakrar to its board of trustees. Professor Kerry Kirwan was also the nominated Trustee from the University of Warwick.

The Institute’s Board of Trustees includes independent members and nominated Trustees from the Institute’s six founding partners that comprise of five universities and The Engineering and Physical Sciences Council. The new members will assist the Turing’s overall mission to lead the UK in data science and artificial intelligence. For more on the board of trustees, click here.

Paula Tolliver

Syniti appointed Paula Tolliver to its board of directors.  Tolliver held the role of chief information officer and chief digital officer at Intel. As CIO and CDO, she was responsible for the company-wide IT strategy and operations around the world. Before Intel, Tolliver was corporate vice president of Business Services and CIO at Dow Chemical.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the transformation journey Syniti is leading for its customers, partners, and the company itself,” said Tolliver. “Data is a critical corporate asset and should be managed and used strategically with the potential to monetize its value. I am pleased to see Syniti continue to innovate, helping businesses modernize their digital infrastructure with a data-first perspective. I look forward to working closely with fellow Board members and the Syniti leadership team in the next chapter of the company’s transformation.”

Parm Uppal

DataRobot appointed Parm Uppal as chief revenue officer. He will help the company continue to grow and will work alongside President and Chief Operating Officer Dan Wright and Chief Go-To-Market Officer Tom Levey to establish the company’s sales program further. Uppal comes from AppDynamics, where he held the role of vice president of sales and is credited with growing the West region by 270%.

“Enterprises know they need to invest in AI to fuel business performance, but often lack the resources to derive value from their AI investments,” said Uppal. “That’s why I am so excited to join DataRobot — it combines a cutting-edge, end-to-end platform with resources that allow businesses to understand and track the value from their investments.”

Ed Walsh

Former general manager of IBM Storage unit, Ed Walsh joins ChaosSearch as its chief executive officer and as a member of the board of directors. Walsh has 28 years of executive-level experience with major companies and has effectively led and sold four starts-ups as CEO.

“The decision to leave IBM was extremely difficult for me, but the decision to join ChaosSearch was very easy,” said Walsh. “Once I saw the unique and innovative approach they take to enable “insights at scale” within the client’s own Cloud Data Lake and slash costs, I knew I wanted to be part of this company. I’ve been extremely impressed with how easily ChaosSearch instantly turns a customer’s cloud object storage into a fully indexed, searchable and queryable database. The implications for this are tremendous.”

2020 ACM SIGKDD Awards

KDD 2020 selected the winners of the 2020 ACM SIGKDD Awards — ACM SIGKDD Innovation Award, ACM SIGKDD Service Award,  ACM SIGKDD Dissertation Award, ACM SIGKDD Rising Star Award, SIGKDD Test of Time Award for Research, and SIGKDD Test of Time Award for Applied Science — for their contributions in data science, machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence. For a list of all the awards, click here.

“Since the inception of the conference 26 years ago, research conducted by the SIGKDD community and presented at KDD conferences has made a lasting impact in academia and industry and the lives of billions of global citizens,” said Dr. Jian Pei, chair of ACM SIGKDD and professor of Computing Science at Simon Fraser University. “The outstanding scientists honored today are recognized not only for their advancements in a specialized field but for their significant contributions to the world.”

2020 SIGHPC Computational and Data Science Fellows

ACM’s Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing announced the 2020 recipients of the ACM SIGHPC Computational and Data Science Fellowships. This program aims to build diversity in data science and computational fields. The twelve Fellows selected will receive $15, 000 per year to study anywhere they choose. For the list of recipients, click here.

“A key to ensuring a robust workforce for our field is to focus on diversifying the expertise, backgrounds, and perspectives of students studying the computational sciences,” says John West, SIGHPC chair and chair of the fellowship program for 2020. “We are grateful to Intel for their financial support in launching these fellowships, and we are proud to continue pursuing the goal of broadening participation in our profession with the financial support of SIGHPC members.”

To read last month’s edition of Career Notes, click here.

Do you know someone that should be included in next month’s list? If so, send us an email at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.