Executive Biographies and Photos

Executive Staff

George Kurian Chief Executive Officer, Director

George Kurian is chief executive officer at NetApp and a member of the Board of Directors.

George joined the company in 2011, bringing his passion and relentless focus on execution to his leadership roles at NetApp. He was named CEO in June 2015.

Previously at NetApp, as executive vice president of Product Operations, George was responsible for the strategy and development of NetApp’s Product and Solutions portfolio. Before that, George was senior vice president of the Data ONTAP group. He oversaw the product roadmap and engineering execution for the Data ONTAP operating system, the world’s most widely deployed branded storage operating system. George joined NetApp as senior vice president of the Storage Solutions Group at NetApp, where he was responsible for the solutions portfolio and joint partner technology integration.

Prior to joining NetApp, George was vice president and general manager of the Application Networking and Switching Technology Group at Cisco Systems. In this role, he was responsible for Cisco products for the modular campus LAN switching and WAN application delivery markets. He also led Cisco’s successful development of products and solutions to enable Ethernet-based converged networks for video, voice and data.

George’s diverse background also includes the role of vice president at Akamai Technologies, management consulting at McKinsey & Company, and leading Software Engineering and Product Management teams at Oracle Corporation.

George holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University and a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University.

Tom Gerstenberger Executive Vice President, Worldwide Field Operations

Tom Gerstenberger is executive vice president of Worldwide Field Operations at NetApp. In this role, Tom is responsible for the strategy and execution of all NetApp sales efforts, including our entire ecosystem of go-to-market channel and alliance partners. Previously, Tom held the roles of SVP and chief of staff of Go-to-Market Operations and SVP of Field Strategy and Operations.

Before joining NetApp in November 2004, Tom spent 15 years with 3Com in various executive and senior management positions, most recently as vice president and general manager of the Personal Systems division. During his time at 3Com, he worked as VP of Finance and Business Operations for the Business Communications company, VP of Worldwide Sales Operations, VP Executive in Residence Office of the Chairman, VP of Finance for the Network Systems business unit and controller for Worldwide Field Operations.

Tom holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley.

Mark Jon Bluth Senior Vice President, Operations

Mark Jon Bluth joined NetApp in 1997 as director of Manufacturing. He was promoted to vice president of Manufacturing Operations in August 1999 and to senior vice president of Operations in April 2001. He is responsible for providing NetApp with a competitive operations capability with respect to installed quality, delivery performance, and total cost. He has led the expansion of NetApp's global operations presence and the evolution of the operations model.

Prior to joining NetApp, Mark served as director of New Product Introduction, Manufacturing Engineering, Test Engineering, and Operations for Synoptics/Bay Networks and was senior Manufacturing Engineering manager for MIPS/Silicon Graphics. He also had a 13-year career at Hewlett-Packard Company in a variety of engineering, marketing, and manufacturing management roles.

He holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and a BSEE from the University of the Pacific.

Matthew Fawcett Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary

Matthew Fawcett is NetApp’s senior vice-president, general counsel, and secretary. Matt leads the worldwide legal team. Under his leadership, NetApp’s legal team has been recognised for many achievements, including the Best Legal Department of 2014 (Best Legal Departments 2014, Corporate Counsel, June 1, 2014), one of the most innovative departments (The 2013 IC-10: Inside the Legal Profession’s Top Innovators, Inside Counsel Magazine, August 30, 2013), and as a top GC (America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel, The National Law Journal, March 31, 2014).

Throughout his career, Matthew has advised leading technology companies on a variety of issues, including mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property and litigation. Before joining NetApp, he was the senior vice-president and general counsel of JDS Uniphase Corporation, where he built a worldwide legal organisation, managed dozens of acquisitions and strategic transactions, and oversaw a patent programme with thousands of issued and pending patents. 

David Hitz Executive Vice President and Founder

As executive vice president, David Hitz is responsible for the future strategy and direction of NetApp.

Dave Hitz and James Lau founded NetApp in 1992 with a desire to simplify storage the way Cisco simplified networking. Dave and James believed that general-purpose computing systems were too complex, so they built dedicated devices called appliances. These appliances were designed to handle one thing well: storage.

Prior to 1992, Dave worked as a senior engineer at Auspex Corporation, an enterprise storage solutions provider, where he was responsible for file systems and microkernel design. He also held engineering positions at MIPS Computer, focusing on file system and I/O subsystem design for the System V kernel development effort. Before his career in the computer industry, Dave worked as a cowboy, getting valuable management experience by herding, branding, and castrating cattle. Dave documented these and other formative business experiences in his autobiography, "How To Castrate A Bull, Unexpected Lessons on Risk, Growth, and Success in Business."

Dave holds a bachelor's degree in computer science and electrical engineering from Princeton University.

Gwen McDonald Executive Vice President, Human Resources

Gwen McDonald is the executive vice president of Human Resources at NetApp. She is responsible for creating the company's strategic vision for worldwide staffing, employee relations, training, organizational development, compensation, and benefits. Gwen also works to preserve NetApp's unique cultural values and principles, which have enabled the company to be ranked #1 on FORTUNE magazine's 100 Best Places to Work.

Gwen has extensive experience in Human Resources. Prior to joining NetApp, she worked at 3Com Corporation for 14 years, serving in a variety of positions, such as senior vice president of Corporate Services, vice president of Worldwide Product and Supply Operations, and director of Human Resources for the Business Connectivity Company. Gwen also was the Human Resources manager for LSI Logic's Santa Clara operations and served at Fairchild Semiconductor for 12 years in various Human Resources positions, including as the senior Human Resources manager for the Linear division.

Gwen holds a bachelor of science degree in human resources and organizational behavior from the University of San Francisco. She currently is on the board of directors for the California Strategic Human Resource Partnership, a collaborative network designed to leverage learning relationships between executives of leading California companies and to maximize their information exchange.

Tom Mendoza Vice Chairman

Tom joined NetApp in 1994 and was responsible for sales until becoming president in 2000. In 2009 he became vice chairman.

Tom has given talks on the power of corporate culture and leadership all over the world to people in such diverse organizations as the U.S. Marine Corps, West Point, CIO forums, Oracle's Leaders Circle, and Stanford University. In 2009 he was the corecipient with NetApp Chairman Dan Warmenhoven of the Morgan Stanley Leadership Award for Global Commerce.

Tom holds a BA degree from the University of Notre Dame and is an alumnus of Stanford University's Executive Business Program. In September 2000 Notre Dame renamed its business school the Mendoza College of Business after an endowment made by Tom and Kathy Mendoza.

Nick Noviello Executive Vice President, Finance and Operations and Chief Financial Officer

Nick Noviello is executive vice president, Finance and Operations and Chief Financial Officer. He was appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer in January 2012, overseeing the company’s finance, customer leasing, workplace resources, and investor relations functions. In July 2013, Mr. Noviello’s responsibilities expanded to include the IT organization, and in April 2014, manufacturing operations.

In his previous role as senior vice president, Finance and Global Controller at NetApp, he was actively engaged in decisions around the company’s business model, financial strategy, capital allocation, and mergers and acquisitions. He also led NetApp’s global finance and accounting operations, including financial planning and analysis, tax, leasing, corporate accounting, and financial governance. Nick joined the company in 2008 as vice president, Finance and Corporate Controller.

Prior to joining NetApp, Nick spent eight years at Honeywell International, where he was CFO of two global multi-billion dollar business units, ran investor relations, and was a leader on the corporate mergers and acquisitions team. Prior to Honeywell, Nick led mergers and acquisitions for Monarch Dental Corporation, and before that spent seven years at the accounting firm of PriceWaterhouse Coopers in mergers and acquisitions transaction services, tax, and audit.

Joel Reich Executive Vice-President, Product Operations

Joel is the executive vice president for Product Operations at NetApp. He is responsible for overseeing the strategy and development of the NetApp product and solutions portfolio.

Joel has over 30 years of product and technology management experience in the storage industry, spanning storage systems, software and components. Previously, Joel served as NetApp’s senior vice president of the Hyperscale Storage Group. There he oversaw the integration of the Engenio (now E-Series) products into NetApp, the object storage strategy and products, and NetApp OnCommand Insight. Before that, he served in various NetApp Data ONTAP engineering leadership roles. In his new role, Joel leads the advancement of the NetApp portfolio of innovation and drives delivery of the Data Fabric strategy, products and solutions.

Before joining NetApp in 2002, Joel was vice president of Marketing and Product Operations for HighGround Systems. He also held the position of director of Product Management for CLARiiON products at Data General and EMC and was director of Sales and Marketing for Conner Peripherals Storage Systems Group. He also served in product management roles at Aiwa/Core and Rodime, Inc.

Joel helped to lead the definition and introduction of many industry firsts:

  • At Rodime, the first 3.5" hard disk drive
  • At Core, the first disk array for open systems and Windows
  • At CLARiiON, the first enterprise-class Fibre Channel RAID system
  • At NetApp, the industry’s first unified storage system
  • Most recently, at NetApp, the industry’s first enterprise-class all-flash-array product, the NetApp EF-Series

Joel holds a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University.

Rob Salmon President and Head of Go-to-Market Operations

Rob Salmon is the president and head of Go-to-Market Operations for NetApp. Go-to-Market Operations consists of Global Marketing, Customer Success Operations and Field Operations. These organizations represent all customer facing functions and support our ecosystem of channel, alliance and service partners.

Rob is a 20-year veteran of NetApp. He joined NetApp in 1994 as one of the first members of the sales organization. Since 2004 he has led global field operations.

Prior to joining NetApp, Rob held various sales positions at Sun Microsystems and Data General Corporation. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Computer Science from California State University, Chico.

Outside of NetApp Rob enjoys supporting his community and focusing on programs that promote education and wellness.

Cynthia Stoddard Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Customer Solutions

Cynthia Stoddard is Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Customer Solutions at NetApp. As CTO, she is responsible for leading the end-to-end execution of NetApp clustered Data ONTAP adoption for current and prospective customers, while being NetApp’s number-one customer advocate. She is the executive sponsor of the NetApp-on-NetApp and Customer-1 initiatives, both designed to share IT’s experiences of using NetApp technologies and to enable NetApp customers to succeed.

In her previous role, Cynthia was the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at NetApp. Since she became CIO in 2012, she has evolved IT to deliver business value beyond traditional boundaries by focusing on innovation, service delivery and strategic partnerships. While CIO, Cynthia won the 2014 Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders Award and was twice named in the Huffington Post’s Top 100 Most Social CIOs. Under her leadership, NetApp IT was recognised in the Information Week 500 (in 2012 and 2013) and the Information Elite 100 (2014).

Cynthia has over 25 years of business experience and IT expertise leading large global organisations in supply chain, retail and technology companies. Before joining NetApp, she was Group Vice President of IT at Safeway, Inc. Other positions she has held include group CIO for NOL Group, the parent of APL Ltd.; as well as executive roles in other global transportation companies.

Cynthia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Western New England University, from which she graduated with Honours, and an MBA from Marylhurst University.

Jonathan Kissane Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer and General Manager, Cloud Business, NetApp

Jon Kissane is NetApp’s senior vice president and serves as both chief strategy officer and Cloud Business general manager, reporting to CEO George Kurian.

Jon is responsible for leading corporate strategy and corporate development functions to drive the company-wide strategy management process. This work includes identifying opportunities to supplement organic development and spearheading targeted strategic relationships. In addition, Jon leads the cross-business global organization of sales, engineering, marketing, and services teams focused on driving NetApp’s hybrid cloud opportunities.

Before joining NetApp, Jon was senior vice president (SVP) of Corporate Development for CA Technologies, where he was responsible for acquisitions, divestitures, and strategic investments. He and his team defined and led the M&A process, which resulted in over $1 billion in transactions and the creation of CA’s contemporary offerings.

Before that time, Jon held several executive leadership positions, including SVP and general manager at a public digital media software company, where he led e-commerce and IT and successfully drove double-digit revenue growth. Prior to that, he worked in early-stage venture investing as a Class 9 Kauffman Fellow for Centennial Ventures. There the portfolio included Compellent Technologies (acquired by Dell), Inflow (acquired by Sungard), and Telephia (acquired by Nielsen). He also worked as a leader in the High Tech practice of the Boston Consulting Group and led business development at an early-stage mobile software start-up that was acquired by SAP. He started his career as a design and development engineer.

Jon received his MBA from INSEAD, a JD from Harvard Law School, and dual undergraduate degrees in history and engineering from Stanford University.