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back to article End of an era: NetApp chair Dan Warmenhoven has left the building

NetApp chairman and previous CEO Dan Warmenhoven has announced that he plans to retire in September. His chosen successor as CEO, Tom Georgens, becomes the new chairman. Georgens will be taking on the chairman’s duties at once. Here’s part of his canned announcement quote: “Dan's extensive experience has been instrumental to our …

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Anonymous Coward

And the next NetApp CEO will be...

Write it down...

The next NetApp CEO will be Dave Donatelli. Just watch.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And the next NetApp CEO will be...

Per the article below, he is out applying for other jobs, presumably with competitors, and not only does HP not get rid of him but they are giving him a ton of additional stock for a "quiet exit." Some sort of gentleman's agreement among executives. Are they concerned that it will tarnish the sterling reputation of HP's management team?

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/05/us-hp-exits-idUSBREA140X020140205

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NetApp Chairman ...

There were a lot of leaders who led technology companies during a tsunami of opportunities when the wave took everyone with it up and high. That wave pretty much ended during the financial downturn and with cloud computing. Organizations such as NetApp are really struggling to move beyond selling disks and storage to really transform enterprise. Moreover, their reach is limited to storage buyers within datacenters, and frankly no one care about this buying center anymore. How can a company like NetApp revive itself in the face of this new age competition? Is selling off a good idea? Or keep continuing doing a business in which NetApp practically has no scope of doing well? Only the time will tell

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Anonymous Coward

Re: NetApp Chairman ...

resrpt, not sure where you get your thoughts on this or information unless you work for a NetApp competitor. In any case NetApp has gained market share, revenue and profit every year for the last eight years including 2013. In 2013 the only other tier 1 storage vendors to gain share were EMC and HP and HP just barely gained share by adding one tenth of one percent from 2012. IBM, Dell and Hitachi all lost share, so I don't see how you can honestly say "How can a company like NetApp revive itself in the face of this new age competition?". In terms of competition being other storage vendors, other than EMC most of them are losing share or were basically flat compared to NetApp. In terms of losing share to cloud providers like Amazon, who do you think the cloud service providers purchase storage from,... NetApp. These cloud service providers like Amazon, AT&T Verizon/Terramark, and others are not NetApp competitors, they are NetApp customers. So no, NetApp's reach is not limited to datacenters either, but most customers are not moving to the cloud any time soon, but even if they did, much of that could capacity would still be on NetApp.

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Re: NetApp Chairman ...

Drop hardware and focus on an Ontap VSA ... i.e. Get serious about Ontap Edge? That's their future IMHO, although they may already be too late even for this.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: NetApp Chairman ...

Yes, but their growth has slowed down considerably, especially last year.

NetApp has essentially two problems. Cloud, predominantly, and EMC.

AT&T and Verizon may be NetApp customers, but the major cloud players are not. Amazon for EC2 is not. Google is not. Box is not. SoftLayer is not. There is just no way they could hit those price points if they were using NetApp filers. They use parallel scale out file servers on low cost x86 servers. It is easy for organization to move what NetApp sells, NFS, to the cloud. The cloud is not NetApp or any other proprietary storage hardware. I agree that people won't be going entirely to the cloud anytime soon, but they will be moving file storage to the cloud in the near term.

Second, EMC, and you could throw the rest of the storage industry in there too, because for the longest time NetApp basically had a free run in NAS. EMC, IBM, HDS, traditional tier one storage providers, just didn't understand its growth or importance and were stuck in their FC worlds. EMC is now going straight at NFS with Isilon. Not to say NetApp is going to be pushed out of every account, but it isn't going to be a walk in the park anymore.... Also, some of NetApp's recent product enhancements have just fallen flat and given their competitors room to move, e.g. cluster mode.

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Are you sure Amazon's cloud is provisioning from NetApp storage? That would surprise me greatly. I worked for NetApp up until last year, and I never heard that Amazon was provisioning NetApp out to it's cloud customers. For internal IT, maybe.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Are you sure Amazon's cloud is provisioning from NetApp storage?

Google AWS and NetApp.

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Anonymous Coward

There no way that AWS will ever use any vendor storage... they would be bankrupt....

And neither would GOOG or FB or any large company....

They will generate the tech in-house and only then be able to reap profits.

Consider this last year 40% of all storage sold was Off-the-shelf (disks made by regular companies) ... which these companies use and store data and provide could and other services.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: RE: Are you sure Amazon's cloud is provisioning from NetApp storage?

Ahh but that's a private storage option for AWS, not actually AWS's storage.

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It's a fair cop guv ...

Chris is spot on with the extended analysis here. I wish things were different for the big N, but they can't turn back time and change strategy now. Perhaps if they had taken a snapshot before buying Spinnaker, they could have rolled back and started all over again. Or possibly cloned from it and investigated multiple strategic outcomes (in a time and space efficient manner of course).

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