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.

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.

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.

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 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.

James Lau Executive Vice President and Founder

James Lau cofounded NetApp with Dave Hitz in 1992 and was vice president of Engineering until 1995. He was chief technology officer from 1995 to 2000. James established the Chief Strategy Office in 2000 and was chief strategy officer until 2010. He now collaborates with the Chief Strategy Office on NetApp’s product innovation and business strategies with a focus on creating opportunities to fuel future growth.

Prior to starting NetApp, James served as director of Software Development at Auspex Corporation, a file server manufacturer, where he was instrumental in defining product requirements and the architecture of that company's high-performance NFS file servers. Prior to working at Auspex, he was group manager of PC products at Bridge Communications, now known as 3Com.

James received a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree in Computer 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.

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.

Julie Parrish Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Julie Parrish is the senior vice president and chief marketing officer (CMO) at NetApp. In her role as CMO she is responsible for driving the company’s global marketing strategy to create preference, awareness, and demand of the NetApp brand. She leads the NetApp’s Global Marketing, Corporate Communications, and Product and Solutions Marketing groups.

Before becoming CMO, Julie was senior vice president of Global Partner Sales at NetApp from 2008 – 2012, responsible for shaping the strategic vision and execution of the worldwide channel program. Her responsibilities included global channel sales revenue, overall go-to-market channel strategy, developing and leading channel programs worldwide, and the global NetApp Partner Program. Under her leadership, NetApp’s channel program grew to 82% of the company’s total business.

Julie is a 27 year veteran of the IT industry. Prior to NetApp, she was vice president of the global channel office at Symantec. In this role she developed and executed Symantec’s global channel strategy, led the worldwide partner organization, and delivered best-in-class enablement programs to support Symantec’s global partner ecosystem. She has also held other senior leadership roles in marketing and sales at 3Com, Veritas, and Nokia.

Julie has served as a guest lecturer for both Stanford and UC-Berkeley MBA and Executive Leadership programs to help teach channel mechanics to business leaders around the world.

Julie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Decision Information Science 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 time, 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 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 organization 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 recognized 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 organizations 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 recognized 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 organization 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 cum laude, and an MBA from Marylhurst University.