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Cohesity appoints former VMware COO as CEO and President

Veteran replaces former CEO Mohit Aron who moves to the role of founder and chief technology and product officer

Cohesity has announced the appointment of Sanjay Poonen as its new CEO and president, with the former VMWare COO also joining the data management company’s board of directors. 

The industry veteran will now lead Cohesity’s next phase of growth as the vendor looks to build on its strong standing in the IT industry.

“Cohesity sits at the intersection of three of the highest-priority business issues today – cyber security, cloud, and data management – and is poised to become a major powerhouse with industry analyst firms naming the company a leader and one of the fastest growing in its category,” he said in an announcement.

In his most recent role as COO of VMware, Poonen oversaw sales, marketing services, and alliances, and was instrumental in doubling the company’s revenues from $6 to $12 billion. He also played a key role in deals with industry giants such as AWS, Microsoft, Google, and Oracle.

Prior to his role at VMware, Poonen served as President of SAP, leading the software firm’s Applications, Industries, and Platform teams, serving in engineering and sales roles that helped double the company’s revenues to $20 billion.

At Cohesity, he replaces outgoing CEO and founder Mohit Aron, who will now lead the company’s product innovation and roadmap as founder and chief technology and product officer.

“As we scale, it is important to me to have a tighter focus on where I spend my time to have the greatest impact,” Aron explained. “I approached the Board with the goal of finding a seasoned and proven executive that I could partner with to achieve our ambitious goals. 

“I’m excited to work with Sanjay as we continue to grow and disrupt the $25 billion data management market.”

In a post detailing why he took the role of Cohesity CEO, Poonen highlighted a combination of the vendor’s people, data protection product, partner pool, as well as the $25 billion total available market opportunity that the vendor is aiming for. 

“Cohesity is built for a multi-cloud era, with a superior modern platform that includes a self-managed and SaaS approach – this creates an opportunity for the next decade plus,” he said. “If we continue to execute, Cohesity is poised to become a major powerhouse in the industry.”

Addressing partners, Poonen underlined his commitment to helping them be a “force multiplier” of the benefits of Cohesity’s data management and data security solutions. 

“With your help, we can greatly amplify the number of customers we can access on our own, so we need you!” he said. “We are grateful for our corporate investors – Amazon, Cisco, HPE – who have not just invested in the company but are also strategic partners. 

“And, to VMware, Pure Storage and Nutanix, they have also been strategic partners to us, I am excited about the untapped opportunity we have before us.”

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