Data center News
New Cohesity CEO Sanjay Poonen: ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’
Joseph F. Kovar
‘I have always sort of dreamed of having a technologist who I could partner with. I know certain products and product management and technology. But I also have a lot of experience and skills in go-to-market. I don‘t think this combination exists with anybody else in the data management space, where you’ve got an incredible technologist and a powerful go-to-market combination,’ says Cohesity CEO Sanjay Poonen in reference to Cohesity co-founder Mohit Aron.
Cohesity’s Next Growth Stage: Mohit Aron Makes Room For Sanjay Poonen
When data protection technology developer Cohesity this week unveiled former VMware Chief Operating Officer Sanjay Poonen as its new CEO, it wasn’t a case of its former CEO retiring or leaving the company. Instead, Mohit Aron stepped aside from the president and CEO roles he has played since he founded the company in 2013 to focus on innovation, and brought Poonen in to lead the company on its next phase of growth.
The fact that Aron still plays a major role in Cohesity was one of the most important of many factors behind the decision by Poonen to join the company. Poonen, in an exclusive meeting with CRN, praised Aron, who previously was an engineer at Google before founding Nutanix and then Cohesity, as a technical genius.
“[Aron] built the file system at Google,” he said. “He was the key architect and CTO at Nutanix. All sort of checks I did on him, and as I got to know him, I saw this guy‘s smart, he’s a person of high integrity, and he’s really passionate about customers.”
The prospect of working with Aron is important to Poonen.
“We need to be like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Splash Brothers,” he said. “And it doesn‘t matter who gets the ball, they score and win because of strength in numbers. So in some sense, I have always sort of dreamed of having a technologist who I could partner with. I know certain products and product management and technology. But I also have a lot of experience and skills in go-to-market. I don’t think this combination exists with anybody else in the data management space.”
While Cohesity has already quietly filed for confidential S-1 in preparation for a possible IPO in the future, Poonen’s more immediate concern as he takes over Cohesity is meeting with customers and employees, and building on the company’s huge partner ecosystem as a way to drive growth.
“I feel the two of us can go cement incredible partnerships, convince any customer. … I think the odds of success are very high,” he said. “I just have to keep making sure that Mohit’s motivated, and he is, as we embark on the journey.”
For a more detailed look at what’s in store for Cohesity under its new CEO Sanjay Poonen, click through the slideshow.