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February 29, 2024

Big Data Career Notes: February 2024 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!

Sridhar Ramaswamy

Following disappointing financial results on February 28, Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman retired the chief executive position and was replaced by Sridhar Ramaswamy, who was promoted from his previous position as senior vice president of AI at Snowflake. Slootman will stay on as chairman of the board.

“There is no better person than Sridhar to lead Snowflake into this next phase of growth and deliver on the opportunity ahead in AI and machine learning,” Slootman said. “He is a visionary technologist with a proven track record of running and scaling successful businesses. I have the utmost confidence in Sridhar and look forward to working with him as he assumes this new role.”

Ramaswamy joined Snowflake in May 2023 following the company’s acquisition of Neeva. Since then, he has been spearheading Snowflake’s AI strategy, and led the launch of Snowflake Cortex. Prior to co-founding Neeva in 2019, Ramaswamy headed Google Ads and worked at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, and Bell Communications Research (Bellcore). He was a venture partner at Greylock Partners from October 2018 until recently and he also sits on the board of trustees at Brown University.

Wes McKinney

Pandas creator Wes McKinney has left his latest startup, Voltron Data, and joined Posit (formerly RStudio), he announced in late 2023. As the principal architect for Posit, McKinney will be an advocate for the PyData ecosystem.

“Lately, my work creating Apache Arrow and Voltron Data and getting them off the ground had reached an inflection point where I felt that I could safely step away from my full-time CTO role,” McKinney, a 2018 Datanami Person to Watch, wrote on his personal blog. “As I considered how I could best position myself to continue making an impact in the open source data science ecosystem for a long period of time, the choice was obvious.

Mark Porter

Dbt Labs, the developer of the popular dbt data engineering tool, has hired Mark Porter to be its new chief technology officer. Hailing from NoSQL database giant MongoDB, where he held the same position, Porter will be tasked with shaping the technical direction of the company and the dbt product.

“I’ve followed dbt Labs for quite some time, and have seen first-hand just how integral dbt has become to the modern data stack,” Porter said. “I jumped at the chance to come on board and work with a team that matched my passion for both data driven innovation and cultivating a high-performance culture. I look forward to contributing to the company’s next phase of growth.”

Graham Siener

Observability startup Honeycomb has a new vice president of product on its roles. Graham Siener, who was previously the chief product officer at Pivotal Labs and vice president of product at VMWare, has joined the company.

Most recently, Siener worked with product studio Steel Perlot to identify market opportunities, build teams, and coach them to product market fit, Honeycomb tells us. He received a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Brown University and resides in New York City.

Ayman Abouelwafa

Hitachi Vantara this month named Ayman Abouelwafa as its new chief technology officer. Hailing directly from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, where he was CTO of the storage group, Abouelwafa will be called on by Hitachi Vantara to drive its entire roadmap.

“Hitachi Vantara represents the gold standard in data storage and hybrid cloud management and is a company that is well poised to continue driving transformative change in the market,” Abouelwafa said. “I look forward to working closely with this incredibly talented team of industry leaders to develop and execute a growth plan that leverages emerging technologies like generative AI to meet customers’ demands – both today and in the future.”

Philipp Herzig

SAP this month named Philipp Herzig as its chief AI officer. Reporting directly to CEO Christian Klein, Herzig will be tasked with “infusing artificial intelligence into every part of the company’s portfolio,” SAP said.

“SAP’s increased focus on business AI marks the start of a completely new generation of enterprise innovation, and I’m honored to have the chance to help customers make the most of this unprecedented opportunity,” Herzig said. “I look forward to working with our team, as well as our ecosystem of customers and partners, to drive the development and delivery of relevant, reliable, responsible business AI that fundamentally changes the way business runs.”

Sajid Shaikh

SIOS Technology Corp., which develops data replication and high availability technology, has appointed Sajid Shaikh to be its new vice president of engineering. Sajid, who most recently was SIOS’ Director of Engineering, will report directly to COO Masahiro Arai.

“I am thrilled to take on the role of vice president of engineering at SIOS, a company at the forefront of application high availability and disaster recovery,” Shaikh said. “The opportunity to lead product delivery for SIOS LifeKeeper and SIOS DataKeeper products aligns perfectly with my commitment for advancing mission-critical enterprise solutions. I believe in the team’s capabilities and am excited to help steer their future innovations for our customers.”

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