Cohesity and Micron polish exec artillery in mad dash for growth

Pushing out the big guns to compete with Samsung – and each other

The latest exec hires show the way the wind is blowing at Cohesity, Micron and WDC.

Rob Salmon has joined Cohesity as its president and COO, replacing Riccardo Di Blasio who was ejected in October last year. Salmon's hiring comes after a 13-month search process. The added president's role indicates the esteem with which he joins the secondary data protector and organiser. He becomes, effectively, the deputy to founder and CEO Mohit Aron.

Interestingly, Salmon "retired" from NetApp in April 2016, being replaced by Henri Richard, EVP for worldwide field ops and customers. Salmon had been NetApp president from 2014 to 2016 and EVP worldwide field ops before that. Some "retirement". It could be viewed as a face-saving way of easing an exec out, although no one involved will comment on that.

Over at Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra, formerly of WDC, has recruited yet another WDC/SanDisk exec. Manish Bhatia becomes Micron's EVP of global operations, running a new-to-Micron organisation.

Other former WDC/SanDisk execs who have followed Mehrotra to Micron include Jeff VerHeul to be SVP non-volatile engineering, Anand Jayapalan as VP of the storage business unit, and Sumit Sadana to be EVP and chief business officer. He was EVP, chief strategy officer and general manager for Enterprise Solutions at WDC/SanDisk.

Again interestingly, Richard came to NetApp from SanDisk where he was SVP for worldwide commercial sales and support. Are SanDisk execs not finding WDC to their liking?

With WDC fighting Toshiba for control over the fate of acquired SanDisk's flash foundry joint ventures then the loss of high-level WDC/SanDisk flash execs can be viewed as worrying for WDC. Good news for Micron, though.

Both Cohesity and Micron want to grow substantially and these exec hires are testimony to that. Cohesity, having had a recent funding round, is probably looking towards an IPO and needs to scale its business to that end. Micron wants to makes its vertically integrated flash storage business more efficient and faster at product development so that it can compete more strongly with industry leader Samsung. ®

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