Executive Biographies and Photos

    Executive Staff


    George Kurian Chief Executive Officer and President

    George Kurian is chief executive officer and president 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, 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 an MBA from Stanford University.

    Brad Anderson Executive Vice President and General Manager, NetApp Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit and NetApp Storage Systems and Software Business Unit

    Brad Anderson is the executive vice president and general manager (GM) of the NetApp Cloud Infrastructure and the NetApp Storage Systems and Software business units. He is responsible for driving the strategy and execution for delivering NetApp’s portfolio of offerings that helps customers modernize IT with cloud-integrated flash solutions, and build private and hybrid clouds to deliver the same services and experiences as public clouds.

    Brad spent nine years at HP Compaq as the senior vice president and GM of Industry Standard Servers, where he led the company’s $8 billion x86 server business. He spent seven years as president and GM of Dell's $12 billion Enterprise Solution Group leading servers, storage, networking and software businesses. He helped Dell acquire EqualLogic, Compellent, and Force10, and he grew each business significantly to enable Dell’s transition away from a mostly OEM model in storage and networking. Just before joining NetApp, Brad served as president and chief operating officer of Gravitant, a cloud service brokerage platform company, where he played an instrumental role in growing the business and in selling the company to IBM.

    Brad holds a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

    Matthew Fawcett Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary

    Matthew Fawcett is NetApp’s senior vice president, general counsel, and chief compliance officer. Matt leads the worldwide legal team and serves as corporate secretary.

    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.

    Matthew holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

    Biren Fondekar Chief Transformation Officer

    As NetApp’s Chief Transformation Officer, Biren Fondekar is responsible for spearheading the ongoing transformation of NetApp’s traditional operations by using digital processes. In his role, he focuses on generating new business opportunities, revenue streams and customer services through the adoption of new digital technologies, including NetApp’s Active IQ, which has become the cornerstone of the company’s digital services roadmap. In addition, Biren oversees ongoing productivity improvements throughout the company, which have already resulted in significant savings in operating cost and a positive response from customers. He is also currently leading several ongoing growth and business simplification initiatives that will continue to help NetApp win new customers and boost its industry leadership; ultimately enabling NetApp to continue to be a thriving company capable of delivering innovative products.

    Biren’s strong track record of engineering and digital transformation expertise has spanned strategy to execution, including heading the tools engineering organization at NetApp, where he led corporate efforts aimed at improving customer experience and engineering productivity across the NetApp product portfolio. His expertise and accomplishments also include harnessing the power of machine learning and AI on product telemetry data, to better deliver predictive insights and actionable intelligence for NetApp customers, DevOps workflow automation, and product globalization. His contributions towards the development of NetApp’s Active IQ have led to its establishment as the digital data hub of the company.

    Prior to joining NetApp in 2009, Biren led the Software Tools and Engineering Productivity Group in the Network OS Technology Division at Cisco. Other previous positions included roles in software development, design automation and big data analytics at Cisco and Amdahl. He also has extensive experience and expertise in the fields of big data technologies, computer networks and network storage systems. He holds two patents in the area of systems simulation.

    Biren holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Utah State University.

    Anthony Lye Senior Vice President and General Manager, NetApp Cloud Data Services Business Unit

    Anthony Lye is senior vice president and general manager of the Cloud Data Services business unit for NetApp. He is responsible for the strategy and execution to further NetApp’s cloud innovation across private cloud, hybrid cloud, and hyperscaler models and to establish the company as the undisputed leader in managing data in a cloud-integrated world.

    Anthony brings more than 25 years of diverse leadership experience to NetApp, spanning roles in development, product management, marketing and sales, and as a high-tech CEO twice. He has focused primarily on cloud innovation for the past 15 years, most recently as the executive vice president and chief cloud officer at Guidewire Software, and at Oracle where he was the senior vice president and general manager of CRM. His background includes leading teams worldwide and hands-on experience building applications and platforms working directly with the developer community.

    Earlier in his career, Anthony served as president and CEO for HotSchedules, a vertical cloud company building applications for the restaurant, retail and hospitality industries. He was previously the global president of Digital Platforms, Customer Relationship Management and Channels at Publicis, the world’s largest digital agency. He also held senior leadership positions at Siebel Systems and Remedy Corporation.

    Anthony earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering with honors from the University of Bath in Bath, United Kingdom. He serves on the board of Spoken Communications and is a member of the board of trustees for Bath University and an investor in both startups and venture funds.

    Atish S. Gude Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer

    Atish Gude is senior vice president and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) leading NetApp's Corporate Strategy Office and responsible for strategy development and implementation and corporate development. His office plays a crucial role in identifying and harnessing new trends and disruptive technologies to accelerate market momentum for NetApp.

    Before joining NetApp, Atish served as the senior vice president of corporate strategy at Verizon Communications. There he led development of the company’s corporate strategy as well as evaluation of technologies, trends, and competitive dynamics across strategic initiatives. Prior to that he held senior leadership roles in marketing, strategy, corporate development, and operations at Verisign, Clearwire Communications, and Sprint Nextel.

    Atish earned a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from Syracuse University.

    Debra McCowan Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

    Debra McCowan is senior vice president and chief human resources officer for NetApp. She is responsible for developing the global HR strategy and leading the entire organization, including talent acquisition, talent development and learning, business partnerships, organizational development and effectiveness, compensation and benefits, diversity, inclusion and belonging, operations, and systems.

    Debra is a change and transformational HR leader with 20+ years of global experience focused on integrating the people strategy with the business strategy to drive performance and growth and promote organizational health. Her success comes from her proven ability to build high-performing, goal-exceeding teams and develop progressive, business-aligned HR strategies and initiatives while providing strategic and operational leadership, typically in a context of rapid growth, change, and maturation.

    In her last role as chief human resources officer at Equinix, Debra built a robust global HR function in a fast-paced environment. During her five years with the company, the global HR organization was instrumental in evolving Equinix’s culture, building the company brand, and designing and implementing leading-edge programs and initiatives in support of business objectives. Attracting and retaining crucial talent helped to build and position Equinix as a market leader.

    Before Equinix, Debra co-founded the Accelerance Group. As a partner, she provided organizational and systems design consulting services and helped clients lead strategic change. Debra has also held global executive leadership roles at Avago Technologies (now Broadcom Inc.), Hitachi Data Systems (now Hitachi Vantara), and Telstra Corporation.

    Debra serves on the board of directors of HealthEquity, Inc. She holds a postgraduate diploma in industrial relations and HR management from the University of Melbourne and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from La Trobe University.

    Kris Newton Vice President, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations

    Kris Newton is vice president, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations at NetApp. She leads the organization responsible for investor relations, employee communications, executive communications and public relations. Over the course of her 20-year career at NetApp, Kris has built a record of success in developing high-impact messaging, managing effective influencer programs and applying strategic research to communicate a holistic view of her company’s business.

    Kris has held multiple leadership roles inside NetApp focused on increasing understanding and engagement with core audiences, including financial analysts, industry analysts, employees and large customer accounts. She is adept at working across functional groups to develop and communicate positioning that improves perception of company strategy and competitiveness.

    Prior to her current role, Kris served as NetApp’s vice president of Investor Relations. Previous roles at the company included senior director of Market Intelligence and Strategy and senior director of Analyst Relations. Before joining NetApp, she was a market research director for Strategic Research in Santa Barbara, California.

    Kris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an MBA from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business.

    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 percent in six 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.

    Henri Richard Executive Vice President, Worldwide Field and Customer Operations

    Henri Richard is executive vice president of Worldwide Field and Customer Operations at NetApp. He leads 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 drives discussions with NetApp’s biggest strategic partners, resellers and customers across the globe.

    Before joining NetApp, 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 has 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.

    James Whitemore Interim Chief Marketing Officer

    James Whitemore is Vice President and Interim Chief Marketing Officer at NetApp. He is responsible for advancing the company’s global marketing strategy and strengthening market recognition to accelerate growth.

    As a veteran of the cloud computing, networking and storage industry, James has more than 25 years of experience leading and implementing successful global sales, product management and marketing strategies. A key part of the team since joining NetApp via the SolidFire acquisition in early 2016, James has been central to the development and execution of our Marketing strategy to reposition NetApp from storage to data and the cloud.

    In his previous role as VP of Field & Demand Marketing at NetApp, James built and led a modern demand engine as well as managed Field and Partner Marketing, Demand Centers, Global Campaigns, Event Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social, Influence and Community Marketing.

    As CMO at SolidFire, James led the mission to advance the way the world uses cloud and was responsible for all corporate, product, and field marketing functions. Prior to SolidFire, James has led sales and marketing functions in cloud orientated start-up companies holding a variety of sales and marketing positions in Europe, Asia and the U.S. with SAVVIS, Sun Microsystems, IBM, StorageTek and Standard Telephones and Cables.

    James holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Northumbria University in the UK.