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September 29, 2023

Big Data Career Notes: September 2023 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!

Matei Zaharia

Matei Zaharia, the creator of Apache Spark and chief technology officer and co-founder of Databricks, can add a new position to his CV: assistant professor of computer science at UC Berkeley. The UC Berkeley grad is returning to his alma matter following a stint at cross-bay rival Stanford University, where Zaharia was an associate professor in the computer science department.

“Very excited to return to UC Berkeley as a professor starting this week,” Zaharia said from his account on X, formerly Twitter, in July. “I’ll be collaborating with the Sky Lab, @UCBEPIC, @berkeley_ai  and others!”

The programs he referenced are the Sky Computing (aka Sky Lab), Cal’s latest five-year collaborative research lab and the successor to RISELab and AMPLab (where Zaharia developed Spark as a grad student); the EPIC Data Lab (Effective Programming, Interaction, and Computation with Data Lab); and Berkeley AI Research (BAIR).

Timothy Young

Timothy Young is the new chief executive officer for Jasper, the generative AI company. Young comes to Jasper from cloud storage virtualization provider Dropbox, where he was a former president, as well as hypervisor vendor VMware, where he was vice president of product and engineering. Jasper co-founder Dave Rogenmoser, who served as CEO for the company’s first two years, will remain as chairman of the board. The company was recently valued at $1.5 billion.

“Jasper was one of the first to make AI accessible to go-to-market teams and continues to raise the bar for what enterprises can expect out of this transformational technology,” Young said in a press release. “I’m eager to help shape this vision as CEO and lead the company into its next chapter.”

Paul Repice

Object storage provider Scality is secure with its new vice president of sales for the Americas: Paul Repice. The longtime enterprise IT salesman joins the San Francisco, California company from Minnesota-based unstructured data management vendor Datadobi, where he held the same position. Repice will be called on to help navigate object storage sales as Scality pivots to a cybersecurity focus.

“Scality is at the forefront of a massive shift in the way IT treats storage as an integral component of companies’ infrastructure security plans,” Repice said in a press release. “It’s one of the reasons I made the leap.”

Gareth Price

Full-service AI platform CorralData this month announced the hiring of Gareth Price to be its new chief technology officer. Price, who also gained a seat on the company’s board of directors, joins CorralData from the New York Times, where he led the team that built the COVID analytics dashboard that won the paper a Pulitzer Prize.

“CorralData’s platform effortlessly extracts invaluable insights, unlocks game-changing recommendations, and gives companies powerful tools that help them thrive in today’s complex world,” the new CTO said in a press release, “and I’m excited to be at the forefront of this innovation.”

Scott Fink

DiffusionData, a Silicon Valley provider of real-time data streaming solutions, has hired Scott Fink to be its new Managing Director for the Americas. Fink comes to DiffusionData from CME Group, which operates the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (among other properties), where he was previously the executive director of site reliability engineering.

Fink said via press release: “Given my experience across a number of technology vendors at CME Group I was most impressed with the breadth and depth of enterprise features that Diffusion provides,” he says. “Diffusion solved problems out of the box that ensured we would deliver project dates while providing a modern and secure solution.”

Scott Van Valkenburgh

Alteryx, a soup-to-nuts provider of analytics solutions, recently brought in Scott Van Valkenburgh to be its new senior vice president for global alliances and channels. Van Valkenburgh, who arrived from professional services firm Genpact, will be called on to help drive partner and channel sales of AiDIN, the Irvine, California company’s flagship offering.

“I am thrilled to be part of the amazing team at Alteryx and eager to hit the ground running executing the global partner strategy,” Van Valkenburgh said in a press release. “This is an ideal time to join, as Alteryx has a robust partner ecosystem with untapped potential to enable analytics for all.”

Ken Claffey

Panasas has hired Ken Claffey to be its new CEO, replacing Tom Shea, who will stay on as the COO. Claffey joins the San Jose, California-based software company from storage manufacturer Seagate Technology, where he was the senior vice president and general manager of the Enterprise Systems Business.

“The company’s unique core parallel file system data storage technology is central to enabling the secular growth of HPC and AI,” Claffey said in a press release. “These areas are driving the increasing need for the performance, scalability, and ease of use that is uniquely inherent to the Panasas PanFS software platform.”

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

If you’d like to submit an item for Career Notes, you can send it to us via email at [email protected].