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NetApp hires Microsoft veteran Cesar Cernuda as new president

NetApp has today announced the appointment of Microsoft executive Cesar Cernuda as the company’s new president, a move that will take effect in July this year.

Cernuda will join NetApp fresh from his role as president of Microsoft Latin America, as well the corporate vice president of the wider Microsoft Corporation.

Cernuda will lead NetApp’s global go-to-market operations spanning sales, marketing, services, and support operations, and will be responsible for transforming the company’s approach to the customer landscape.

He is also expected to nurture new growth opportunities from all areas of the business, but with a close focus on the cloud.

“Cesar brings a wealth of experience in leading commercial products, and service and support offerings to meet Asia Pacific’s (APAC) aggressive consumption of cloud and data technologies,” says NetApp senior vice president and general manager for APAC Sanjay Rohatgi.

One of the most significant reasons Cernuda was chosen for the role was for his experience in the APAC region, when he served as president of Microsoft Asia Pacific, where he led the company’s commercial and consumer products and service and support offerings

“His time spent in the APAC region also gives him first-hand knowledge of cultural nuances and customer priorities will be a true advantage when connecting with new buyers as we help them on their transformation journeys,” says Rohatgi.

Cernuda’s move from Microsoft will bring to an end a 23-year-long tenure at the company, the magnitude of which was not lost on him when he wrote a farewell post on his LinkedIn page.

“This has probably been one of the hardest decisions I have ever made but I am excited to share I will become the new President of NetApp,” Cernuda wrote on LinkedIn. 

“It has been an amazing journey working alongside customers, partners, and colleagues from Microsoft around the globe and I am forever grateful for all the learnings.”

NetApp says Cernuda’s experience in leading global enterprise sales will enable him to foster tighter alignment between the teams, which will, in turn, help NetApp to capture new growth opportunities in enterprise storage systems and cloud data services.

“As we look to accelerate our cloud and software strategy, Cesar’s experience in successfully transforming large global organisations will strengthen NetApp’s position as a leader in cloud data services,” says NetApp chief executive officer George Kurian.

“I’m excited to welcome a leader of his calibre. I look forward to him bringing to the team his passion for strong results, his commitment to building diverse, high-performing teams, and his experience in business transformation.”

Cernuda says he is relishing the challenge that comes with leaving an organisation where he has spent over two decades of his professional life.

“I believe NetApp will become a key partner in every organisation’s data strategy, and I am looking forward to being a part of it,” says Cernuda. 

“The key hyper-scale public cloud vendors have bet on NetApp technology to support them with their customer offerings, and the APAC region continues to be a front runner in the adoption and use of cloud technology. 

“During my three years as a leader in Asia Pacific, I learned from customers and partners how to best help them not only deploy but fully utilise the technology. 

“I am thrilled with the opportunity to bring that knowledge to NetApp to help and support customers and partners manage and protect one of their most important assets— their data.”