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December 15, 2021

Big Data Career Notes: December 2021 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!


Phil Holtberg and Lara Kisielewska

Phil Holtberg joined Tabor Communications Inc. as its account director, focusing primarily on sales for two of its publications (Datanami and EnterpriseAI). Holtberg, a 19-year veteran of NewBay Media, has held multiple sales roles at the company, including serving as group publisher of the Pro AV family of publications and advertising representative on all NewBay publications and digital properties. Most recently, he was account manager of Springer Nature, handling accounts across pre-clinical and life sciences categories.

In addition, Lara Kisielewska joined TCI as its first chief marketing officer to both expand TCI’s footprint and oversee expanded client services programs that are now available for companies looking to engage with the audiences of all three publications (HPCwire). Kisielewska has dual backgrounds in publishing and high tech marketing, and has been part of the open source and HPC communities for more than 20 years. She co-founded Linux Magazine (among others) and has been running Xand Marketing, which solely services the technical computing market, since 2005.

Chethan Bachamada, Lynn Orlando and Anil Virmani

Chethan Bachamada joined Pavilion Data Systems, a provider of data storage solutions, as its vice president of operations. Bachamada brings more than 20 years of experience gained in the electronics industry, primarily at Jabil where he most recently served as a business unit director. After starting his career as an engineer at Lear Corporation, Bachamada developed into a director of business management, leading several cross-functional and multinational teams.

In addition, Lynn Orlando joined Pavilion Data Systems as its vice president of marketing. Orlando has over 20 years of experience in data storage and networking. She comes to Pavilion from WekaIO, a cloud data platform provider, where she was head of content marketing. She served in progressively senior management roles at Cisco Systems, Skyera, HGST, and Western Digital. Before moving to WekaIO, Orlando was head of marketing at Stellus Technologies.

Lastly, Pavilion Data Systems appointed Anil Virmani as its senior vice president of software engineering. Virmani recently served as vice president of engineering and product management for Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s GreenLake Cloud Services and has also served in executive roles at ADARA, Inc., VMware, and Juniper Networks.

Andrew Hall

StrongBox Data Solutions, a provider of autonomous large-scale data management and archive solutions, appointed Andrew Hall as its chief executive officer. Hall has 30 years of leadership experience, most recently serving as managing director of Insider Technologies Ltd., a company developing and supporting monitoring, tracking, and alerting products for central banks and government agencies.

“As a member of the PartnerOne family of data management products, we have the opportunity to apply a broad set of expertise and resources that will help us leverage StrongLink’s industry-leading technology while increasing the product’s appeal to a broader segment of the market,” said Hall. “We’re excited to make it easier for a broad range of customers to leverage StrongLink’s proven capabilities.”


Jennifer Jackson

Actian, the provider of hybrid cloud data analytics, management, and integration solutions, appointed Jennifer Jackson as its chief marketing officer. Jackson brings 25 years of technology experience to Actian, where she will be responsible for developing and executing a global marketing strategy to drive growth. 

“I am ecstatic about taking this next step with Actian,” said Jackson. “Actian has long-demonstrated a passion for developing ground-breaking hybrid data solutions, and the company truly enables digital transformation with global scale and reach for its customers and partners. The most influential factor in choosing Actian was its people. Employees are the heart and soul of a company. The team at Actian is aligned in their mission to help customers win through amazing products and services. I am very enthusiastic about this journey with a well-established company and looking forward to what we can accomplish together for our customers and the future of data.”

Pekka Kostamaa 

TigerGraph, provider of a graph analytics platform, appointed Pekka Kostamaa as its vice president of engineering. Kostamaa will be responsible for leading the global engineering team at TigerGraph, helping the company accelerate innovation on TigerGraph Cloud products while continuing to scale the TigerGraph platform. Kostamaa will also lead the continued expansion of TigerGraph’s robust partner ecosystem and grow the company’s engineering team.

“It’s an exciting time in the growth journey of TigerGraph and I am delighted to be a part of this executive leadership team,” Kostamaa said. “TigerGraph is a proven market leader with incredible growth as graph analytics continues to gain mainstream momentum. I look forward to a record-breaking 2022 at TigerGraph.”

Vina Leite and Craig Gorsline

AHEAD, a provider of enterprise cloud solutions, appointed Vina Leite to the board of directors and Craig Gorsline to the board of advisors – a group of subject matter experts that work together to counsel on the company’s strategy. Both Leite and Gorsline will be working to advance AHEAD’s strategies related to talent and growth.

In her new role on the board of directors, Leite will apply her unique perspective from 30 years of HR and tech experience to advise and execute on culture, leadership, and coaching, in addition to running the board’s compensation committee. Leite also serves on the public board at Jamf and works as the Chief People Officer at The Trade Desk.

Gorsline brings more than 25 years of experience as a leader of global companies in enterprise technology services to the board of advisors. Having served as both a president and a CEO, Gorsline has a proven track record in building high-growth services companies.

Pat McKillen

AquaQ Analytics, a provider of specialist data management, data analytics and data mining products and services, appointed Pat McKillen as its head of data science. McKillen brings with him over 30 years of experience to AquaQ Analytics having worked in the investment banking and capital markets sectors.

For the past number of years, he has been training and assisting Quants with their Python and Data Science endeavors; focusing in particular on the application of industry best practices around testing and deployment of their models to a full-blown production environment.

Javier Molina 

Starburst, the analytics anywhere company, named Javier Molina as its chief revenue officer. Molina will be responsible for developing and overseeing Starburst’s global sales strategy, accelerating company growth and revenue, and lead its sales teams. Javier brings nearly 15 years of sales leadership experience to Starburst, most recently serving as the senior vice president of worldwide sales for Atlas, MongoDB’s multi-cloud application data platform.

“Starburst is solving a critical challenge related to distributed data and data silos with an entirely new approach, and the latest iteration of Starburst Galaxy paves the way for Starburst to become the next OS company to capture the cloud,” said Molina. “With the release of Galaxy, we will look to accelerate the adoption of the power of Trino by removing the operational overhead of self-managing the open source. I’m looking forward to contributing to Starburst’s continued growth by building and leading its talented sales team as we provide the future of truly data-driven organizations across the globe.”

Riya Shanmugam

New Relic, the observability company, appointed Riya Shanmugam as its group vice president of global alliances and channels. Shanmugam comes to New Relic from Adobe, where she was the global head of cloud adoption and customer success. Prior to Adobe, Shanmugam served as a customer engineering leader at Google Cloud. 

“New Relic’s mission is to empower engineers with a data-driven approach to observability across the entire software lifecycle so they can plan, build, deploy, and run amazing software that powers amazing digital experiences. Cloud providers, resellers, service partners, MSPs, and technology partners are all crucial to expanding our global observability footprint,” said Shanmugam. “I’ve spent my career working with technology innovators globally to solve complex business challenges through software. New Relic mirrors this experience in its philosophical mindset and in our pursuit to help engineers and developers do their jobs better, faster, more easily, and more efficiently. I’m eager to lead the global channel and alliances organization at a momentous point in the company’s history.”

Graham Smith

Splunk Inc., a data platform provider, appointed Graham Smith, chair of Splunk’s board of directors, as its interim chief executive officer. Smith has served as a member of Splunk’s Board since 2011 and as chair since 2019. He has also served in a number of executive positions at Salesforce, including as chief financial officer from December 2007 to July 2014. As interim CEO, Smith will focus on investments and priorities for the company’s upcoming fiscal year to ensure continued customer and cloud transformation success.

“On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Doug for his innumerable contributions and dedicated years of service to Splunk,” said Smith. “Since his appointment as CEO in 2015, Doug has led Splunk through critical product and business model transformations, which have enabled the company to become the leading data platform across Security, Observability and IT. With the proven success of our ongoing cloud transformation and our team’s strong execution, we are confident that Splunk is well positioned for its next phase of growth.”

Jacqueline Woods

Teradata, the connected multi-cloud data platform for enterprise analytics, appointed Jacqueline Woods as its chief marketing officer. Woods will be responsible for overseeing Teradata’s strategic marketing planning and delivery, including brand and reputation management, digital and social properties, as well as leading customer generation, influencer marketing, public relations, communications and enriching customer experiences. 

“In today’s dynamic environment, companies face profoundly increasing data demands and are increasingly leveraging cloud-based technology to deliver critical insights to make better and faster decisions. Teradata’s unparalleled data platform is exactly what enterprises need to help them win, and I am excited to join this growth-oriented, customer-centric organization,” said Woods. “I look forward to collaborating with Teradata’s talented team to continue deepening relationships with both current customers and new logos, supporting their expanding needs for leveraging superior analytic capabilities to solve their data challenges, and accelerating growth for the company.”

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.