Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Saturday, May 28, 2022

AI Career Notes: December 2021 Edition 

In this monthly feature we bring you up to date on the latest career developments in the enterprise AI community – promotions, new hires and accolades:


George Axberg

VAST Data appointed George Axberg to lead the company’s data protection strategy with its global customers. Prior to joining VAST Data, Axberg spent 16 years at Dell EMC where he led the company’s sales strategy for data protection, availability, backup and recovery.

“Data loss for any period of time is the worst thing that can happen to a business because it undermines customer trust. In the unlikely event of unplanned downtime, VAST Data’s all-flash storage architecture can help companies recover data up to 50 times faster than HDD-based systems,” said Axberg. “This is the biggest thing to happen to backup targets since they moved from tape to disk 20 years ago. Universal Storage is the architecture of the future because it delivers the performance, scalability, security and cost advantages that legacy storage just can’t match.”

Chethan Bachamada, Lynn Orlando and Anil Virmani

Chethan Bachamada joined Pavilion Data Systems, a provider of data storage solutions, as its vice president of operations. Bachamada brings more than 20 years of experience gained in the electronics industry, primarily at Jabil where he most recently served as a business unit director. After starting his career as an engineer at Lear Corporation, Bachamada became a director of business management, leading several cross-functional and multinational teams.

In addition, Lynn Orlando joined Pavilion Data Systems as its vice president of marketing. Orlando has more than 20 years of experience in data storage and networking. She comes to Pavilion from WekaIO, a cloud data platform provider, where she was head of content marketing. She served in progressively senior management roles at Cisco Systems, Skyera, HGST, and Western Digital. Before moving to WekaIO, Orlando was head of marketing at Stellus Technologies.

Lastly, Pavilion Data Systems appointed Anil Virmani as its senior vice president of software engineering. Virmani recently served as vice president of engineering and product management for Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s GreenLake Cloud Services and has also served in executive roles at ADARA, Inc., VMware and Juniper Networks.

Cathleen Benko 

SolarWinds Corp., a provider of IT management software, appointed Cathleen Benko to its board of directors. Benko will also serve on the board’s compensation committee. Currently, she serves on the board of directors and compensation committee of NIKE, Inc., is also a member of the board of directors, compensation committee chair and audit committee member of Prime Impact Acquisition I and member of the board of WorkBoard (private).

“SolarWinds’ leadership, commanding position in the IT management market, and vision to disrupt and redefine the Observability category make it a compelling time to join the Board,” Benko said. “I look forward to contributing to the organization’s efforts and delivering on its brand promise.”

Bret Costelow

Panasas appointed Bret Costelow as its executive vice president of global sales. Costelow will be responsible for overseeing sales and business development worldwide. He brings to Panasas more than 25 years of experience, including having worked at Intel and at DDN Storage. 

“I am excited to join Panasas at a time where customer opportunities are expanding in traditional and enterprise HPC storage, including where AI and ML/DL requirements are a great fit for Panasas,” said Costelow. “Panasas modernized its architecture to run PanFS on COTS hardware, and has continued to rapidly innovate to make the benefits of a parallel file system more accessible to a broader set of customers.”

Justin Ging and Denise Ruffner 

Atom Computing, a quantum computing company, appointed Denise Ruffner as its chief business officer. Ruffner will be responsible for customer and partner ecosystem strategy and engagements. She previously led business development at IonQ and brings more than 20 years of experience in deep tech and sales leadership at start-ups and IBM Quantum.

In addition, Atom Computing appointed Justin Ging as its chief product officer. Ging will be responsible for product management and customer experience for Atom Computing’s quantum solutions portfolio. He comes to the company from Honeywell Quantum Solutions, where he spent the past few years leading commercialization and business development. 

Andrew Hall

StrongBox Data Solutions, a provider of autonomous large-scale data management and archive solutions, appointed Andrew Hall as its chief executive officer. Hall has 30 years of leadership experience, most recently serving as managing director of Insider Technologies Ltd., a company developing and supporting monitoring, tracking and alerting products for central banks and government agencies.

“As a member of the PartnerOne family of data management products, we have the opportunity to apply a broad set of expertise and resources that will help us leverage StrongLink’s industry-leading technology while increasing the product’s appeal to a broader segment of the market,” said Hall. “We’re excited to make it easier for a broad range of customers to leverage StrongLink’s proven capabilities.”

Matthew Harris

Kao Data, the specialist developer and operator of high-performance data centers for enterprise, cloud, HPC and AI, appointed Matthew Harris as its chief financial officer. Harris brings to Kao Data over 15 years of experience in the financial sector. Most recently, he served as managing director at Goldacre Noé Group.

“Having been firmly engaged with the company’s vision and its growth strategy from inception, I’m delighted to have joined Kao Data formally, as its CFO,” said Harris. “Kao Data is truly on the cutting-edge of tech, working with some of the industry’s foremost thought leaders and engineers to push the boundaries of design and innovation. Our facilities have been engineered to support the UK government’s National AI Strategy and have created a blueprint for the future of high performance data centers.”

Sean Hehir

BrainChip Holdings Ltd., a provider of ultra-low power, high performance artificial intelligence technology and a commercial producer of neuromorphic AI chips, appointed Sean Hehir as its chief executive officer. Hehir will guide the company towards the full commercialization of its Akida neuromorphic computing platforms.

“I’m excited to join BrainChip at this pivotal time in their history. It is a time when the company is heavily invested in working with partners that will benefit from AI at the edge. I believe my experience in building strong relationships with top-tier global clients will prove beneficial to BrainChip as they enter this next phase of growth,” said Hehir. “Preparing for the broad commercial launch of Akida silicon and intellectual property will be my top priority, so BrainChip can begin its transformation from a company developing groundbreaking AI technology to a company supplying cutting-edge markets like automotive, transportation, consumer, aerospace, medical and industrial IoT with the best AI technology available.”

Jennifer Jackson

Actian, the provider of hybrid cloud data analytics, management, and integration solutions, appointed Jennifer Jackson as its chief marketing officer. Jackson brings 25 years of technology experience to Actian, where she will be responsible for developing and executing a global marketing strategy to drive growth. 

“I am ecstatic about taking this next step with Actian,” said Jackson. “Actian has long-demonstrated a passion for developing ground-breaking hybrid data solutions, and the company truly enables digital transformation with global scale and reach for its customers and partners. The most influential factor in choosing Actian was its people. Employees are the heart and soul of a company. The team at Actian is aligned in their mission to help customers win through amazing products and services. I am very enthusiastic about this journey with a well-established company and looking forward to what we can accomplish together for our customers and the future of data.”

Pekka Kostamaa

Graph analytics vendor TigerGraph announced the appointment of veteran technologist Pekka Kostamaa as vice president of engineering to help its global engineering team accelerate innovation and continue to scale the TigerGraph platform. Kostamaa will also lead the continued expansion of TigerGraph’s robust partner ecosystem and grow the company’s world-class engineering team. Kostamaa joins TigerGraph from Teradata, the connected multi-cloud data platform for enterprise analytics, where he spent more than 20 years managing multiple teams.

“It’s an exciting time in the growth journey of TigerGraph and I am delighted to be a part of this executive leadership team,” said Kostamaa. “TigerGraph is a proven market leader with incredible growth as graph analytics continues to gain mainstream momentum. I look forward to a record-breaking 2022 at TigerGraph.”

Neeti Mehta Shukla

Automation Anywhere, a provider of robotic process automation solutions, named the company’s co-founder Neeti Mehta Shukla as its first social impact officer. Mehta Shukla will direct the company’s social impact office, and its commitment to make automation a global force for good. 

“Automation isn’t only about driving speed, scale, and business efficiencies. At its core, it’s about making work more human, freeing people to unleash their potential and to go be great,” said Mehta Shukla. “With the launch of this office, we aim to build a self-sustaining model that will play a role in changing lives, both through technology for good and by helping people gain the expertise they need to take advantage of new career opportunities emerging in the automation economy.”

Riya Shanmugam

New Relic, the observability company, appointed Riya Shanmugam as its group vice president of global alliances and channels. Shanmugam comes to New Relic from Adobe, where she was the global head of cloud adoption and customer success. Prior to Adobe, Shanmugam served as a customer engineering leader at Google Cloud. 

"New Relic's mission is to empower engineers with a data-driven approach to observability across the entire software lifecycle so they can plan, build, deploy and run amazing software that powers amazing digital experiences. Cloud providers, resellers, service partners, MSPs and technology partners are all crucial to expanding our global observability footprint," said Shanmugam. "I've spent my career working with technology innovators globally to solve complex business challenges through software. New Relic mirrors this experience in its philosophical mindset and in our pursuit to help engineers and developers do their jobs better, faster, more easily and more efficiently. I'm eager to lead the global channel and alliances organization at a momentous point in the company's history."

Aritomo Shinozaki 

Netreo, the provider of IT infrastructure and application performance management solutions, appointed Aritomo “Ari” Shinozaki as its vice president of engineering. Shinozaki, a 30-year technology industry veteran,  transitions into the executive leadership role after serving as a consultant for the past year.

“I see tremendous growth opportunities for Netreo in markets where the company is already successful and by expanding into new markets with targeted innovation,” said Shinozaki. “I am joining a great team that is already familiar to me, and I look forward to accelerating innovation and meeting the customer challenges and opportunities that come from the explosion of observability data.”

Lisa Su

PeaceTech Lab, the award-winning non-profit founded by the United States Institute of Peace, named Dr. Lisa Su, president and chief executive officer at AMD, as one of the distinguished honorees during the 2022 International Peace Honors. Su is being honored for her achievements in revolutionizing high performance computing, the donation of supercomputing power for infectious disease research, and for inspiring people from all backgrounds to pursue careers in STEM.

“As an engineer at heart, I believe that pushing the envelope in high-performance computing technology is critical to help solve many of the toughest problems humanity faces,” said Su. “AMD is committed to building advanced computing products that make a positive impact in the world by empowering people to research, connect and collaborate in new and better ways.”

Peter van der Made

BrainChip Holdings Ltd, provider of ultra-low power high performance artificial intelligence technology and neuromorphic AI chips and IP, announced that founder and Chief Technology Officer Peter van der Made was named the winner of the AI Hardware 2021 Innovator Award at the AI Hardware: Executive Outlook Summit December 1. The AI Innovator of the Year award is given to the industry’s leading and most accomplished individuals to commemorate the backbone of AI progress.

Sudhanshu Verma

Bright Machines, an innovator in intelligent, software-defined manufacturing, appointed Sudhanshu Verma as its chief development officer. Verma brings an extensive background in cloud, data management and hardware, having held senior engineering positions across companies, including Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Infinera and Hewlett-Packard. 

"Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to help develop and innovate on some of today’s most widely used software, hardware and cloud networks," said Verma. "This has given me a firm conviction on the power of software-driven solutions to transform industries. I'm thrilled to join the world-class Bright Machines team to lead the paradigm change in manufacturing with scalable, cloud-based software solutions that deliver deep data analytics and insights."

Jacqueline Woods

Teradata, the connected multi-cloud data platform for enterprise analytics, appointed Jacqueline Woods as its chief marketing officer. Woods will be responsible for overseeing Teradata’s strategic marketing planning and delivery, including brand and reputation management, digital and social properties, as well as leading customer generation, influencer marketing, public relations, communications and enriching customer experiences. 

“In today’s dynamic environment, companies face profoundly increasing data demands and are increasingly leveraging cloud-based technology to deliver critical insights to make better and faster decisions," said Woods. "Teradata’s unparalleled data platform is exactly what enterprises need to help them win, and I am excited to join this growth-oriented, customer-centric organization. I look forward to collaborating with Teradata’s talented team to continue deepening relationships with both current and new customers, supporting their expanding needs for leveraging superior analytic capabilities to solve their data challenges, and accelerating growth for the company.”


To read last month's edition of Career Notes, click here.

Do you know someone that should be included in next month's list? If so, send us an email at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.

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