On June 1, 2015, NetApp announced George Kurian as chief executive officer. We recently sat down with him to ask a few brief questions to get his perspective on leading NetApp.
George, earlier this month you were named CEO of NetApp, can you share a little about how you feel about the opportunity?
The IT industry is undergoing a significant shift as customers evolve their IT strategies and consider how to take advantage of the cloud. It is the biggest transition in the history of IT and customers are looking for partners who can help them take advantage of the benefits the cloud offers while mitigating the risks. Our opportunity is to help lead customers through this transition with the most differentiated value proposition for hybrid cloud data management in the market. That’s an incredible opportunity and I believe we have right vision, strategy, portfolio, and team to do it.
Why are you confident about NetApp?
There are three reasons: customers, the NetApp team and our portfolio of innovation.
First, we do extraordinary things with customers. Over our 20+ year history, we have built trusted relationships that withstand the test of time. I have a personal connection to the power of NetApp technology and what it enables, and I’m excited by the leadership role we can play as customers transition their IT environments to the next generation of IT.
The second reason is the people at NetApp. This is a team that pulls together to make great things happen – for our customers, partners, communities, and each other. It’s the most talented and collaborative team I’ve ever worked with.
Third, we are delivering on a broad range of new products that support key changes in the IT infrastructure – scale-out, flash, converged infrastructure, and webscale. In addition, given our customers’ interest in building hybrid IT architectures, we want to provide them with the capability to seamlessly manage their data across these platforms and multiple clouds. We call this vision the Data Fabric from NetApp. It gives our customers the ability to have choice of cloud infrastructure with control of their data. It will transform how organizations manage, secure, protect, and move their data across the hybrid cloud.
What do you bring to this role?
It is a great honor to be asked to lead NetApp. I bring a diverse background with leadership experience across several Fortune 500 companies including Cisco, Akamai, McKinsey and Oracle. Over the last twenty-five years, I have learned two important lessons. First, you have to understand the customer, what they’re trying to accomplish, and then deliver products and solutions that can enable their success. Differentiated technology and teams that work relentlessly to ensure customer success is how NetApp succeeds. Second, you have to combine innovation with execution to deliver on the commitments you make to customers. I am a firm believer that clear and focused priorities, coupled with relentless execution and a world-class team will help us expand our leadership position.
I’m going to ensure that we remain a leader in this industry by delivering capabilities that will help our customers achieve the outcomes they’re looking for.
For more information on NetApp’s vision of a Data Fabric, visit NetApp.com/DataFabric.