Executive Biographies and Photos

Executive Staff

George Kurian Chief Executive Officer

George Kurian is chief executive officer at NetApp.

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 Senior Vice President, Worldwide Field Operations

Tom Gerstenberger is senior 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 tenure 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.

Rich Clifton Executive Vice President, Customer Success Operations

Rich Clifton leads the organization that focuses on enabling customer success. His team is responsible for services and support, customer listening, corporate quality, and transitions to the NetApp clustered Data ONTAP operating system.

Rich has a long history of leading new business initiatives for NetApp. Under his leadership, NetApp launched business units targeting enterprise applications, SAN and iSCSI, and storage for virtualized servers. He also led a number of major functional organizations, including all primary storage protocols, technology enablement for technical field teams, and, most recently, the Solutions and Integration Solutions Group in Product Operations.

Prior to joining NetApp in 1999, Rich was vice president of Database and Application Competence at Data General, where he was named a Data General fellow. Previously he was director of Silicon Valley Development at Control Data, where he also served in a variety of engineering and management-level positions.

Rich has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and business administration from Indiana University.

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 recognized 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 organization, managed dozens of acquisitions and strategic transactions, and oversaw a patent program with thousands of issued and pending patents. 

Jonathan Kissane Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer

Jonathan Kissane serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at NetApp.

In this role Jon oversees Corporate Strategy and Corporate Development and is focused on driving the company-wide strategic planning process and identifying opportunities for technology collaboration and targeted strategic relationships.

Most recently prior to NetApp, Jon was at CA Technologies, where he was responsible for identifying opportunities to improve the company's competitive position and portfolio of IT management solutions. He led the mergers and acquisitions process across CA businesses, and achieved over $1B in successful transactions. Jon started his career as a design and development engineer, and later led business development at an early-stage mobile software startup that was eventually acquired by SAP. He also worked at The Boston Consulting Group, and in early-stage venture investing at Centennial Ventures, where the portfolio included Compellent Technologies (acquired by Dell), Inflow (acquired by Sungard), and Telephia (acquired by Nielsen).

Jon received his MBA from INSEAD based on studies in Singapore and France, and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Harvard Law School. He holds dual undergraduate degrees in history and engineering from Stanford University. He is married with four children and lives in California. 

Cynthia Stoddard Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Cynthia Stoddard is senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) at NetApp. As CIO, Cynthia is leading and evolving the IT organization for the new digital era. Her responsibilities involve driving the traditional IT functions which include providing a long-term technology vision that supports and aligns with the company’s goals and strategies, business plans, operating requirements, and improving overall efficiencies. In addition, she is evolving IT to deliver business value beyond traditional boundaries by focusing on innovation, customer adaptive practices, and strategic partnerships.

Cynthia is providing thought leadership on industry, business, and product direction. She is known as a customer-facing CIO—leading IT to enable NetApp customers to succeed. Cynthia won the 2014 Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders Award and was named by the Huffington Post as one of the Top 100 Most Social CIOs. Under her leadership NetApp IT has been recognized in the Information Week 500 and the Information Elite 100.

Cynthia has over 25 years of business experience and IT expertise leading large global organizations in supply chain, retail, and technology companies. Before joining NetApp in 2010, she was group vice president of Information Technology at Safeway Inc. and was recognized as one of the Top Women in Grocery and also a Woman of Influence in the Food Industry. Other positions she has held include group CIO for NOL Group, the parent of APL Ltd., a global transportation and logistics company, as well as executive roles in other global transportation companies. While she was CIO at NOL Group, the organization was named to the Top 100 of Information Week’s Top 500 innovative users of technology for four successive years.

Cynthia holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Western New England University, from which she graduated cum laude, and an MBA from Marylhurst University.