Pure Storage snatches chief marketeer from rival EMC

Latest boardroom trophy hire brings AFA vendor more corporate cachet

Pure Storage is at it again: the all flash array startup has raided bitter rival EMC's reservation and made off with chief marketing officer Jonathan Martin, who will fulfil the same function at his new paymaster.

Martin served as chief marketing bod at EMC for the past four years and prior to that spent five years at HP. He will report to Pure president David Hatfield and not to CEO Scott Dietzen.

A canned PR blurb from Hatfield stated:

"While we remain laser-focused on building the next great storage company, it is critical that we up-level our brand and broaden our awareness worldwide in order to capitalise on the market opportunity we have in front of us today.”

Pure's awareness must be one of the highest of all-flash array vendors and awareness-raising on its own isn't needed.

We are told Martin will utilise his global enterprise experience to lead and execute Pure Storage’s worldwide marketing strategy as the company scales through its next phase of natural growth.

This is a marquee or trophy hire by Pure. Recruiting EMC and NetApp sales people is one thing, but knocking off EMC's CMO is quite another. It follows the hiring of NetApp's Brian Pawlowski, the engineer in charge of FlashRay development, to be its chief architect a few months ago.

Clearly Pure hasn't been scared off by EMC's legal action to stop poaching its execs, which also includes former UK boss James Petter, who was tapped up early this year and now runs EMEA ops for Pure.

We think that the competition between Pure, EMC and NetApp is getting intense. Pure wants to position itself as an EMC/NetApp-class supplier and this is one way it can devise and deliver messages that exist in the same marketing dreamscape as these two suppliers.

Pure has also to distance itself from the broad and growing mass of all-flash array and hybrid array suppliers.

It needs to preserve its appeal as a networked storage array supplier in the face of the converged IT system trend with networked storage abandoned – absorbed by the server SANs in the VSAN/EVO: RAIL/HCIA product space.

Martin will need to shout his subtly-crafted marketing messages loudly, broadly and long to create clear Pure positioning against the competing noise messages from everyone else. ®

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