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Hitachi Vantara Sharpens its Edge: Strategic Leadership for the AI and Hybrid Cloud Era

Sheila Rohra Sheila Rohra
Chief Executive Officer

April 02, 2024

The rise of generative AI and the explosion in data processing power are pushing the pace of change into overdrive. This creates a unique window of opportunity for businesses to innovate, revamp user experiences, streamline operations, boost revenue, and achieve long-term success.

But navigating this transformative landscape requires a foundation built for resiliency, reliability, performance, and quality. That's where we come in.

As we kick off our new fiscal year, we are making significant strides on our business strategy and transformation plan. This plan focuses on accelerating our ability to react creatively to global market opportunities.

Specifically, we're placing a strong emphasis on enterprise efforts surrounding hybrid cloud and generative AI. Our goal is to empower our partners and customers to maximize the use of these technologies by enabling faster decision-making and improved operational efficiency. This will ultimately help them utilize their hybrid cloud investments and embark on their AI journey strategically.

Of course, to truly help our customers achieve their digital and business transformation goals, we need the right tools in place. This includes an effective operating model, strong organizational alignment, and the right leaders with clear ownership and accountability positioned in key roles.

To this end, and to further bolster our business transformation, innovative offerings and strategic alignment, effective April 1, 2024, Hitachi’s IT Platform Product Management Division (or IT Pro) integrated with Hitachi Vantara, as was announced by Hitachi, Ltd. in October 2023. Hitachi Vantara will now seamlessly combine world-class data infrastructure R&D, engineering, manufacturing, sales, and delivery capabilities to accelerate innovation and reduce time to market through our newly integrated Japan-U.S. operation.

We have also built a Hitachi Vantara Executive Committee with strong domain and operational expertise across the value chain.‌‌

Chairman of the Board: Akinobu Shimada

Akinobu Shimada is chairman of the board at Hitachi Vantara. Shimada-san has more than 30 years of experience at Hitachi companies in roles with responsibilities including business strategy, technical strategy, product strategy and planning for storage and related hardware and software businesses. In his most recent role, Shimada-san led global business operations as a senior executive supporting IT Platform Products Management Division and Hitachi Vantara. He graduated from Tokyo City University with a Mechanical Engineering degree.

Chief Financial Officer: Tony Gonnella

‌Tony oversees the company’s controllership, accounting, and financial planning and analysis functions and initiatives by working closely with leadership to develop and execute a financial management plan that will help drive profitable growth, ensure financial stability, and improve operating profit. He brings more than 20 years of expertise in finance with previous leadership roles at Cortex, Unit 42 at Palo Alto Networks, NetApp, and McAfee Associates.

‌‌Chief Operating OfficerAshish Bhagat

‌As COO, Ashish is responsible for developing and executing operational strategy, implementing operational systems and standards, ensuring smooth workflows, and optimizing processes and operations across the business to ensure operational stability and efficiency. He brings 20 years of demonstrated expertise driving operational and financial performance within Hitachi and in finance and audit advisory roles at Openwave Systems, Inc., PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Grant Thronton.

Chief Product OfficerOctavian Tanase

‌Octavian is responsible for the vision, strategy, development, and execution of our product and solution portfolio to ensure that Hitachi Vantara offerings deliver value to our customers/partners and to our business. He brings more than 25 years of experience in engineering and product development roles at several companies including NetApp, where he led the integration of NetApp’s software portfolio in the AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform clouds, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and several Silicon Valley startups.

Deputy Chief Product Officer: Toshiyuki Haruma
As the deputy CPO, Haruma-san will be responsible for the strategy, development, and execution of our products to ensure that our offerings deliver value to our customers and partners. He has extensive experience in large-scale project management and product development of storage and software products.

Chief Technology Officer: Ayman Abouelwafa

Ayman owns identifying and evaluating emerging technologies and developing and executing a strategic and forward-looking technology roadmap that aligns with the business strategy. As a nearly 30-year storage and technology veteran, he brings a wealth of experience from several leadership roles including serving as an HPE Fellow and the Chief Technology Officer of the HPE’s Storage Division. He also held several other leadership roles while at HPE, including Chief Technologist and lead architect roles in multiple business groups covering a wide range of storage technologies.‌

Chief Revenue Officer: Neil McGowan

Neil is responsible for revenue generation, revenue and market share growth, expansion of the business into new markets and segments, building and fostering strong customer and partner relationships, and optimizing the GTM process for efficiency and effectiveness. Over the span of his 25+ year career, Neil has amassed experience in global sales, marketing, operations, and general management at public companies and private venture-backed startups, including NetApp, VeriSign, Openwave, Silicon Graphics, and Tandem (now HP).

SVP, Business Strategy: Simon Ninan

‌Simon is responsible for developing the company’s vision and business strategy for both the short and long terms and overseeing aligned execution of this strategy across the business. Prior to Hitachi, Simon spent over a decade as a strategy consultant with Monitor Deloitte, including a stint as COO of its India practice. As an advisor to senior client executives across startups and Fortune 500 companies, he led new business standups, growth programs, and large-scale transformations.

Chief Human Resources Officer: Philip Elicagaray

‌Philip is responsible for the vision, strategy, development, and execution of the next phases of organizational growth. He brings over 25 years of leadership experience delivering pragmatic solutions, as well as working in the consumer and technology industries, leading change at Logitech, Dolby, and NetApp.‌

Chief Supply Chain Officer: Yuichi Fukuda

‌As the Chief Supply Chain Officer for the integrated global organization, Fukuda-san will be responsible for developing and executing strategies, and implementing tools, processes, and efficiencies to optimize our global supply chain management. His background includes hardware engineering with diverse experience in storage, server product management, alliance strategy, business operation, and supply-chain management.‌

Chief Quality Officer: Takuya Okaki   

‌In this role, Okaki-san is responsible for the company’s quality assurance strategies, the formulation and implementation of quality assurance measures, and the collaboration with senior leadership to ensure quality products and solutions. He brings 30 years of experience in quality assurance of storage products, the foundation of Hitachi's reliability, and has expanded that expertise to Hitachi Vantara’s storage products and solutions.‌

SVP, Corporate Marketing: Tammy Gollotti
Tammy is responsible for providing the critical focus overseeing Hitachi Vantara’s industry-leading branding, marketing, and communications programs that play a critical role in fueling the company’s growth goals. She brings over 20 years of brand, marketing, corporate positioning, global communications, and sales experience at companies including Flex, Cisco Systems, ATT, and Sprint.

Chief Information Officer: Joe Morris

Joe Morris is responsible for Information Technology (IT) strategy and implementation ensuring the company’s technology platforms and data drive business value and enable growth. Joe and his team partner with their stakeholders to understand requirements and deliver reliable, innovative solutions solving complex problems.

Chief Information Security Officer, Tim O’Neill

Tim is responsible for proactive management and mitigation of cybersecurity risks, ensuring robust protection for the company’s products, services, information assets and IT infrastructure. Tim brings a wealth of experience to the role with a background spanning over 30 years in cybersecurity, risk management, acquisition and divestitures, fraud and abuse management, and investigations.

I’m honored to lead this collaborative and seasoned leadership team of both long-tenured leaders and new hires. They bring a variety of insights and perspectives totaling decades of experience. Every executive leader brings extensive infrastructure and storage expertise; leadership excellence; a strategic mindset; and a shared focus on collaboration to drive business growth and meaningful outcomes for our customers. We are confident that this is the team to ensure that Hitachi Vantara leads with innovative and purpose-built solutions and accelerates our delivery of these through excellence.

Looking Boldy to the Future

The tech landscape is evolving at breakneck speeds, and we know we need to be bold to serve our customers’ ever-changing needs. The pressure and demand for robust data infrastructure is growing as customer dependence on hybrid cloud increases. We have the ingredients for success: strong leadership, a resilient and determined team, best-in-class mission-critical storage solutions, and true software-defined storage capabilities.

In a market that lacks a clear leader, this combination has the potential to propel us to the forefront of data infrastructure and hybrid cloud solutions. We're not just excited about this future – we are bullish on our ability to achieve it. Together, we can write a remarkable story as one Hitachi.