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January 20, 2021

Big Data Career Notes: January 2021 Edition

(Who is Danny/Shutterstock)

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!

Tom Bethell and Rod Faul

Tom Bethell and Rod Paul joined Kao Data, a provider of data centers for high performance colocation services. Bethell was appointed as its business development director. He comes from Next Generation Data and brings years of experience in data center, HPC, and telco markets. He also worked at China Telecom, Six Degrees Group, and Pulsant.

Faul joined Kao Data as its senior client director. He comes from data center provider VIRTUS, bringing 30 years of telco and data center experience. He has also held sales roles at Level3 and Telefonica.

Lars Björk

Privitar, a data privacy platform provider, appointed the former chief executive officer of Qlik Lars Björk to its board of directors. From 2007 to 2017, Björk served as CEO of Qlik and helped grow the company from $80 million to $700 million. He also managed Qlik’s initial public offering in 2010 on the NASDAQ.

“By transforming data into actionable insights and intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships,” said Björk. “For businesses to be able to leverage their data effectively for insights, first they must be able to ensure that data is safeguarded. Privitar’s approach to data privacy enables organizations to extract the maximum value from their data and use it in new ways while putting privacy and people first. This is a powerful combination that will enable organizations worldwide to derive great value from their data.”

Phil Bullinger

Infinidat, provider of enterprise-class storage solutions, appointed Phil Bullinger as its chief executive officer. Bullinger brings over 30 years of enterprise storage experience. Bullinger comes from Western Digital, where he served as its senior vice president and general manager of the data center business unit.

“Infinidat’s innovative and proven solutions eliminate the risks and challenges enterprise customers face in balancing compromises between storage performance, availability and cost at petabyte scale,” said Bullinger. “I look forward to joining the outstanding Infinidat team, building on the momentum of the business, and expanding our product and go-to-market capabilities. I am excited to work with Infinidat’s exceptional partners and customers worldwide to continue the company’s unmatched commitment to product quality, reliability, and customer experience in the most demanding enterprise data center environments.”

Jonathan Chadwick and  Elena Donio

Databricks appointed Jonathan Chadwick and  Elena Donio and to its board of directors. Chadwick serves as a board member and advisor to various private and public companies, including Zoom, Stripe, Elastic, and ServiceNow.  He has served as the executive vice president, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer of VMware and CFO at Skype.

Former president at Concur Donio currently serves on the board of directors at Twilio. She has also served on the board of directors at PayScale before its acquisition in  2019.  Donio’s most recent position was serving as chief executive officer of Axiom.

Todd Cione

Teradata, the cloud data analytics platform company, welcomed Todd Cione as its chief revenue officer. He has over 25 years of experience in global sales, marketing, channel, and operations working at technology companies including Apple, Oracle, Rackspace and Microsoft.

“I am excited about joining Teradata and helping to accelerate its cloud-first momentum. I deeply share Teradata’s customer-centric purpose and look forward to delivering exceptional customer experiences with our cloud-based data analytics platform,” said Cione. “Working closely with Steve and the rest of the company’s talented team, we will continue to help our customers harness the power of data and provide sustainable value for our shareholders. I look forward to hitting the ground running to drive sales strategies that strengthen our market position and continue to drive top-line growth.”

Gary Cohn and Arvind Krishna

IBM appointed Gary D. Cohn as its vice chairman of IBM and member of the IBM executive leadership team and Arvind Krishna as its chairman of the board. Cohn will partner with IBM’s newly-appointed CEO Arvind Krishna and the rest of the executive team in various business projects and external engagements. Cohn served at the White House as an assistant to the president for economic policy and director of the National Economic Council from January 2017 until April 2018.

Krishna was elected chairman of the board at IBM. Krishna, who started working at IBM in 1990, was appointed as the company’s chief executive officer in January 2020. He is also a member of the board at the company.

Dean Darwin

Alteryx, Inc. appointed Dean Darwin as its chief revenue officer. He will be responsible for the global go-to-market organization, including worldwide sales and channels. Darwin comes from the cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks, where he held the role of senior vice president and general manager.

“I am honored to join a company leading in analytics, data science, and integrated process automation, a category we call analytic process automation or APA,” said Darwin. “Organizations around the globe rely on Alteryx to accelerate digital transformation, converge analytics into one unified automation platform and speed the delivery of business outcomes. I look forward to playing an integral role in Alteryx’s continued growth and bringing my experience to this high-caliber team, our customers across 90 countries and our worldwide channel partners.”

Tracy Eiler

Alation Inc., an enterprise data intelligence solutions provider, welcomed Tracy Eiler as its chief marketing officer. Eiler brings more than 25 years of experience building and scaling high-performance B2B technology marketing teams. She is recognized as one of the 15 Most Influential Women in B2B Marketing and a B2B Demand Marketing Game Changer.

“I’m thrilled to join the Alation team at such a pivotal time for the company,” said Eiler. “Alation’s customer base reads like a “Who’s Who” list, as enterprises are racing to become more data-driven. To help fuel the next phase of Alation’s growth, I will focus on catapulting the company’s strong customer base and market impact to make our data intelligence platform ubiquitous in organizations.”

Joydeep Ghosh

Dr. Joydeep Ghosh received the 2020 IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Research Contributions Award. Ghosh is the chief scientific officer at enterprise AI software company CognitiveScale and holds the Schlumberger Centennial Chair Professorship at the University of Texas, Austin. He was recognized for his contributions to the field of data mining and analytics.

“Both in academia and the business arena, the field of data mining, artificial intelligence, and machine learning offers the next wave of solutions in the technology continuum, especially important in our pandemically challenged world,” said Dr. Ghosh. “I am humbled to receive this award and thank the ICDM Committee for recognizing just how significant a role data mining and machine learning innovation plays in nearly every aspect of business and academia.” he added.  “It is also a great validation of the collective work being done by CognitiveScale around development of high value and trustworthy intelligent automation applications.”

Jin Kim

Esperanto Technologies, a developer of high-performance, energy-efficient computing solutions, appointed Jin Kim as its chief data scientist and vice president of software. Before joining Esperanto, Kim managed engineering and marketing teams at companies including GraphSQL, Wave Computing, Objectivity, Skytree, Tom Sawyer Software, Vitria Technology, Tactica, and Trimeter Technologies.

“We are in the midst of a revolution, based on AI/ML/DL, big data, and advanced analytics. This is an exciting time, and I am impressed with the leading-edge technology and high-performance, energy-efficient computing solutions Esperanto offers in these rapidly growing markets,” said Kim. “I am delighted to join the Esperanto team, expanding Esperanto’s strengths in AI and software leadership.”


Elastic welcomed Ashutosh Kulkarni to its newly created position of chief product officer. Kulkarni brings over 20 years of experience in enterprise software, leading product and engineering teams at McAfee, Akamai, Informatica, and Sun Microsystem.

“I’ve seen first-hand the power of Elasticsearch and the Elastic Stack, and I am convinced of the versatility and immense potential of the platform in helping customers derive insights from their data,” said Kulkarni. “I’m excited to work alongside the leadership team and other Elasticians to realize the full potential of Elastic as the next platform powerhouse of our era.”

Robin Matlock

Cohesity appointed Robin Matlock to its board of directors. Matlock most recently served as chief marketing officer at VMware and brings more than 30 years of marketing, sales, and business development experience in markets including enterprise software, cloud services, and security.

“I am excited to join the Cohesity Board of Directors at this unique point in the company’s journey,” said Matlock. “The company continues to experience rapid growth and adoption at an impressive pace. At the same time, Cohesity is poised to gain tremendous market share as it rapidly scales its portfolio to include data management innovations in cloud, SaaS, compliance, and security. I’ve been fortunate to help lead other companies through periods of substantial growth and look forward to bringing ideas and experiences to Cohesity.”

Brian Pawlowski

Quantum Corp. welcomed Brian Pawlowski as its chief development officer. Pawlowski brings over 35 years of technical and leadership experience, holding leadership positions at DriveScale, Pure Storage, and NetApp. He currently serves as co-chair of the NFS Working Group at the Internet Engineering Task Force. He has served on the board of trustees for the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and as a board member at the Linux Foundation.

“As Quantum strives to be the leader in video and unstructured data, I’ll be focused on building synergies across our general business units, driving hybrid multi-cloud data management solutions, expanding our software download strategy, and simplifying our products for ease of customer use,” said Pawlowski.

Chuck Robel

Enterprise AI platform provider DataRobot appointed Chuck Robel to its board of directors as an independent director and chair of the audit committee. Robel currently serves as chairman of the board at GoDaddy, a domain name registrar and web hosting provider. He has previously served on the boards of Sumo Logic, Informatica, AppDynamics, and Jive Software.

“DataRobot is at the forefront of AI, which is the defining innovation of our time,” said Robel. “I’m impressed with not only the company’s industry-leading platform, but their pool of talent that includes some of the top data scientists and business operators in the world. I’m thrilled to be joining DataRobot’s board at such an exciting time and look forward to being a part of their continued success.”

Ajay Singh

Ajay Singh joined Pure Storage, a multi-cloud storage as-a-service provider, as its chief product officer. Singh brings more than 25 years of experience in software and services with a background managing as-a-service and DevOps teams. Most recently he served as general manager of the cloud management business unit at VMware.

“I have had long-standing admiration for Pure and I could not be more eager to be a part of this world-class team,” said Singh. “Pure is rightfully a disruptor and an innovator, meeting customers where they are and enabling them on a path forward to transform their environments.”

Kristin Thornby

Neo4j, a provider of graph technology solutions, appointed Kristin Thornby to its newly created position as vice president of people.  Thornby brings an extensive background in creating systems and processes that align people around corporate missions and values.

“I’m excited to join Neo4j during a pivotal point in the company’s journey,” said Thornby. “Neo4j has built its business on the power of relationships in data, and has proven the power of human relationships in building a worldwide community, a world-class team and a thriving ecosystem. This role represents an opportunity to globally scale a market-leading technology company that puts great emphasis on employees and employee relationships.”

Rick Valentine

Quantum Corp. welcomed Rick Valentine as its senior vice president and chief customer officer. Valentine will be responsible for Quantum’s customer experience as it transitions to an as-a-service provider for unstructured data management, analytics, and storage. Valentine most recently served as CFO at Silver Peak Systems, an SD-WAN technology solutions provider.

“As Quantum transitions to software-defined architectures, and a subscription and as-a-service business, my priority will be building a services organization that can support the customer experience in this new model,” said Valentine.

Charlie Velasquez

Charlie Velasquez joined Centrify, an identity-centric privileged access management solutions provider, as its chief financial officer. Velasquez brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in finance, accounting, operations, sales, and product management. He previously held the role of CFO for Skybox Security, Arxan Technologies, CollabNet/VersionOne, AccelOps, and Tidal Software.

“Centrify is a highly innovative organization with market-leading solutions, a strong partner ecosystem, and a clear vision and strategy,” said Velasquez. “It’s a very exciting time to be joining the business, and my focus will be on supporting our continued organic and inorganic growth worldwide. By meeting the needs of our customers while running a highly efficient operation, we are ideally positioned to deliver on Centrify’s great potential.”

Andy Wishart

Agiloft, a contract and commerce lifecycle management solutions provider, welcomed Andy Wishart as its chief product officer. Wishart comes from Thomson Reuters, where he led a team focused on legal drafting and productivity solutions.

“I am very excited to be joining Agiloft’s dynamic team at this pivotal moment in its growth and innovation,” said Wishart. “As a recognized industry leader, Agiloft has developed exciting AI capabilities around clause extraction and risk scoring and has integrated that seamlessly into the user’s contracting workflows. I look forward to bringing my passion and expertise to the table to spur on the company’s course of product development.”

Benny Yehezkel

SQream,  a provider of a data analytics acceleration platform, appointed Benny Yehezkel as its chief revenue officer. Yehezkel is a 20-year veteran executive management focusing on cloud and on-prem enterprise software solutions.

“I am very pleased to join SQream with its revolutionary data analytics acceleration platform, which perfectly-positions the company to take advantage of the tremendous data growth facing enterprises today,” said Yehezkel. “By significantly shortening long running analytic query times while enabling companies to analyze much greater amounts of data, SQream has a unique market opportunity to bring game-changing capabilities to enterprises.”

Martin Zahumenksy

Martin Zahumenksy joined Ataccama, a provider of self-driving data management and governance solutions, as its chief growth officer. Zahumensky will be responsible for leading initiatives with the goal to drive company growth. He spent his early career in large-name professional services and consulting companies before he founded and served as chief executive officer of Instarea.

“I’m honored to take on this new role and be part of a company that has not only such ambitious plans to grow but also the means to achieve it,” said Zahumensky. “There is an amazing pool of talent at Ataccama. Coupled with an industry-leading product and dynamic company culture, it’s a recipe for success.”

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.