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.

Mark Bregman Chief Technology Officer

Mark Bregman is NetApp’s chief technology officer (CTO). As CTO of NetApp, Mark leads the company’s strategic technical direction. His responsibilities include making sure that NetApp continues to have the best technology offerings in a dynamically evolving market, inspiring our engineers toward the long-term technical goals of the company, and helping to set and maintain a culture of innovation. In addition, Mark evaluates where the biggest technical opportunities and risks for the business are and focuses on capitalizing on them.

Mark has 30 years in the technology field, with experience ranging from semiconductor packaging and semiconductor process development and manufacturing to open systems hardware and software development, software as a system, big data, and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT). Before joining NetApp, Mark was CTO of SkywriterRX, Inc., an early stage startup using machine learning and natural language processing to analyze books. Prior to this he was CTO at Neustar; executive vice president and CTO of Symantec; executive vice president, Product Operations, at Veritas Corporation; CEO of Airmedia; and general manager, Pervasive Computing Division of IBM. He began his career as a research staff member in the Physical Science Department of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.

Mark is director of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology; director of Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium; director of ShoreTel, Inc.; a member of the Naval Research Advisory Committee; a member of the American Physical Society; and a senior member of IEEE. Mark holds PhD, MA, and MPhil degrees in physics from Columbia University and a BA degree in physics from Harvard College.

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. 

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Ron Pasek Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Ron Pasek is the executive vice president and chief financial officer at NetApp. With more than 30 years of experience in financial management, Ron joined NetApp in April 2016 to oversee the company’s finance, customer leasing, workplace resources, internal audit and IT functions.

Before joining NetApp, Ron served as CFO at Altera, where he delivered significant value, helping to increase the share price by 145% in 6 years. He also championed an enterprise-wide business process improvement culture, which dramatically improved efficiency and productivity.

Ron began his career at ROLM Corporation, where he worked in accounting and financial planning. In 1990, he began a nearly 20-year career with Sun Microsystems, where he served in roles such as vice president, Finance, Global Sales and Service, and vice president and treasurer. Ron helped develop the finance function that supported the company’s growth from revenues of $2 billion to $14 billion.

Ron earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in finance from San Jose State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Santa Clara University.

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.

Henri Richard Executive Vice President, Worldwide Field and Customer Operations

Henri Richard is executive vice president of Worldwide Field and Customer Operations at NetApp. In this role, Henri will lead NetApp’s global field and customer success operations, which support the company’s ecosystem of channel, alliance, and service partners and perform customer-facing functions. Henri will drive discussions with NetApp’s biggest strategic partners, resellers, and customers across the globe.

Before joining NetApp at the start of FY’17, Henri was senior vice president of Worldwide Sales and Support at SanDisk Corporation. There he oversaw the rapid growth and diversification of SanDisk into the enterprise space.

Throughout his 30-year career, Henri served in global executive roles at companies including Seagate, IBM, WebGain, AMD, and Freescale Semiconductor. He started his career in IT with Informatique Haute Performance in Paris, France, a company he founded to address the burgeoning need for PC-based computing in the 1980s.

Henri holds a bachelor of science degree from the Ecole Nationale de Radiotechnique et d’Electronique Appliquee in Asnieres, France.

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 Information Officer

Cynthia Stoddard is NetApp’s chief information officer (CIO) and senior vice president. As CIO of NetApp, Cynthia leads and is evolving the IT organisation for the new digital era. Her responsibilities involve driving traditional IT functions, including providing a long-term technology vision that supports and aligns with the company’s goals and strategies, business plans and 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.

As a senior executive of NetApp, Cynthia provides thought leadership on industry, business and product direction. She is known as a customer-facing CIO, leading IT to enable NetApp customers to succeed. Additionally, she is the executive sponsor of the NetApp on NetApp initiative to increase awareness that NetApp is an IT leader. Cynthia recently won the 2014 Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders Award and was named one of Huffington Post’s Top 100 Most Social CIOs. Under her leadership, NetApp IT has been recognided in the Information Week 500 (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 in 2010, she was group vice president of Information Technology at Safeway Inc. She was recognised as one of the Top Women in Grocery and also as 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; and executive roles in other global transportation companies. While she was CIO at NOL Group, the organisation was named in the Top 100 of Information Week’s Top 500 innovative users of technology for 4 successive years.

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.