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See that flashing taillight? Micron CEO has signalled a move

Two solid state exec moves as Kaminario CTO quits to join startup

Two exec moves have flashed up in the solid state world. Micron CEO Mark Durcan told analysts he was going to stop being CEO and Kaminario’s CTO has quit.

Shachar Fienblit has flagged up his Kaminario CTO slot departure on his Linked webpage. His Kaminario history is VP Engineering from April 2009 to the end of 2014, and CTO from the start of 2015 to January this year, a neat two-year stint.

He’s joining VAST Data as its VP for Research and Development, VAST being a startup focused on Big Data and cloud storage. CTERA’s marketing SVP, Jeff Denworth, joined VAST as its VP for Product in December 2016.

At the time we wrote: “We think Vast Data is building a Pure Storage FlashBlade-type all-flash array box for big data, with fiendishly clever software.” Ex-XtremIO CTO and filer of 17 patents Renen Hallak started VAST in February 2016.

Fienblit’s departure leaves Kaminario CEO Dani Golan with a CTO hole to fill. The company’s leadership webpage still lists Fienblit as CTO by the way. Tom O’Neill is Kaminario’s International CTO and he looks like the instant switch into the top CTO role.

Kaminario Head of Global Brand and Buzz Marketing, Parna Sarkar, said: "Shachar has left Kaminario to join a stealth mode startup. But will continue to support the Kaminario team. ... Shachar was instrumental in setting Kaminario's early vision and bringing the Kaminario K2 platform to market. Over the years we’ve built out a strong engineering team who will continue to aggressively advance our innovation agenda."

Micron CEO to resign

Mark Durcan became Micron CEO four years ago, in February 2012, when the then-CEO Steve Appleton died in a plane crash. Durcan had been Micron’s COO up until then and was planning to retire. Four years later Micron has bought DRAM maker Elpida, has a storage systems flash business, has entered the 3D NAND technology arena, and is heavily involved in 3D XPoint with Intel. It’s also weathered lay-offs, and started making chips for the automotive market. Durcan now feels he can set about retiring again.

Micron has said it's setting up a CEO search committee, and Durcan will contribute to it and assist with a CEO transition. The company’s chairman, Robert Switz said in a statement: Durcan as CEO ”has successfully guided Micron's strategy and growth for the past five years and has allowed the company to initiate this transition from a position of strength. The Board is committed to thoughtful long-term succession planning and takes seriously its responsibility to maintain a high-calibre management team and to ensure successful executive leadership transition. We expect Mark to play an instrumental role in securing and transitioning his replacement.”

Clearly there is no succession plan in place and that is attributable to the board; it employs Durcan. Switz is on the search committee and there is no published timescale for its work. ®

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