Last month marked the ninth birthday of the company I started in an office suite in Santa Clara, California with ten other people in 2013. While we were all inspired and hopeful, I don’t think any of us could have foreseen quite how far we have come since then.

It’s both humbling and gratifying to know that over 3,000 customers rely on Cohesity to help secure and manage their data, including many of the world’s largest organizations. And we have grown our team by a factor of twenty from that initial ten.

Over the course of those nine years, I have had the privilege and responsibility of leading Cohesity in a dual role that requires me to operate at both a broad and a deep level. Like every other CEO, I have a broad remit in overseeing every facet of the company’s operation, from finance to marketing, legal, HR and engineering, from helping win customers to setting out our strategic priorities, from raising funding to monitoring our culture and figuring out how to operate during a pandemic.

However, throughout that same time I have also maintained the passions of a Founder, which requires a deep understanding and hands-on involvement in more systemic issues, implementing changes and removing obstacles where necessary. And as many of you know, I also have a deep passion for software engineering. I still maintain close contact with the product and have even been known to offer suggestions to our developers.

While I have strived to wear both the breadth and depth hats equitably, there is an inevitable tension in trying to balance them, particularly as the business scales. So, after consideration, I have decided to shift my focus to depth, with the Board’s blessing. I will continue to devote my time to ensuring that we have the greatest products and solutions in the industry as we disrupt the $25B market for data management with our next-gen approach. I’m very proud of what we have already achieved, and I know we’re only scratching the surface of what’s possible. More than ever, the world needs to safeguard and make the best use of its most valuable digital asset – data – and I remain dedicated to ensuring Cohesity is a pivotal enabler of that goal.

It was equally important that we find an exceptional leader to take over the reins for the next phase of our growth. I’m delighted to announce that the new CEO of Cohesity will be Sanjay Poonen, a highly respected Silicon Valley veteran who was most recently COO at VMware, and prior to that was President of Platform Solutions at SAP. Not only does Sanjay come to us with a proven pedigree in managing and scaling successful software businesses, he also has been a key visionary and architect of security and cloud partnerships such as AWS, Microsoft, and Google, and acquisitions such as AirWatch and CarbonBlack. And he brings a host of established connections with customers, partners, analysts, and investors that will help accelerate his effectiveness in the role.

One aspect of Sanjay’s experience that I find particularly exciting is his unique perspective of the opportunity we have to transform an industry, based on his time at VMware. Consider the situation before VMware made virtualization commercially available: system resources were inefficiently used, they had limited scale, were difficult to manage, weren’t open to integration, and were very expensive. This is almost exactly the description we use to describe the legacy world of data management. Like VMware, we are bringing a radically new approach to an industry that has seen very little innovation, offering new value in security, simplicity, scale, efficiency, and much more. And with the right leadership and the right technology, I believe we have the right foundation in place to follow VMware’s trajectory.

It is this kind of big picture thinking that I’m excited to work on as we move into the next stage in Cohesity’s story. We believe our customers, partners and employees will enjoy the best of all worlds as Sanjay and I, together with the rest of our seasoned leadership team, solve our customers’ most difficult data management and security challenges and drive exceptional value for years to come.

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- By Sanjay Poonen

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