Management Team

Mike Gustafson

Mike Gustafson / Senior Vice President and General Manager, Virident | HGST

Mike Gustafson joined the HGST executive team at the close of the HGST acquisition of Virident in October 2013. He joined Virident in September 2012 as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Prior to Virident, Mr. Gustafson was with Hitachi Data Systems an Enterprise Storage Solutions Company where he was SVP and GM of the File & Content Business following the acquisition of BlueArc Corporation in September 2011. The product portfolio he led offered integrated hardware and software solutions to help customers manage unstructured data growth and was the foundation for company strategy for big data. He served as president and CEO of BlueArc Corporation from 2005 until the acquisition of the company in September 2011. There he led a team that built the company over 7 years into a top 3 market share player in the Enterprise Network Attached Storage (NAS) market. He has more than 20 years of experience in the storage, server, networking systems and IT industries.

Before BlueArc, Mr. Gustafson was senior vice president at McData an enterprise SAN company, from 1998 – 2004 and was responsible for worldwide sales, services and marketing. He was a key member of the leadership team that led the McData initial public offering, global sales expansion and partnership strategy development. He helped McData gain industry-leading share in the enterprise storage area network (SAN) market, growing annual revenues to more than US$400 million. Prior to McData, he worked at IBM from 1989 – 1998 in multiple roles including direct and channel sales of high volume compute, server and connectivity products for various divisions and geographies.

Mr. Gustafson is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis - John M Olin School of Business.


Kumar Ganapathy

Kumar Ganapathy, Ph.D. / Global Vice-President of Strategy and Products, Virident | HGST, Co-founder, Virident

Kumar Ganapathy has joined HGST management team at the close of HGST acquisition of Virident in October 2013. Dr. Ganapathy has over 20 years of leadership experience as an operating executive, entrepreneur and founder in the areas of Flash storage, DSP, wireless and semiconductors. Prior to founding Virident in 2006, Dr. Ganapathy was an Executive in Residence (EIR) at Artiman Ventures, and before that he was the CTO and co-founder of VxTel, developer of VoIP DSP processors and subsystems, which was acquired by Intel in 2001. At Intel, Dr. Ganapathy was Director of Architecture and Engineering in Ultrawideband Networking Operation (UWB) and Edge Access Division as well as in the CTO Office of the Intel. Before co-founding VxTel in 1999, Dr. Ganapathy was Fellow of Conexant and Principal Engineer at Rockwell Semiconductor leading the development of 56-kbit modems and GSM phones.

Dr. Ganapathy holds a Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras where he received the Siemens Gold Medal. He received his M.S from University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Dr. Ganapathy has published over a dozen technical papers and has been issued over 35 patents.


Vijay Karamcheti

Vijay Karamcheti, Ph.D. / CTO, Virident

Dr. Karamcheti has over 15 years of experience in designing and developing technologies at the leading edge of parallel and distributed computer systems architecture, middleware, and application frameworks.

From 1998 through 2009, Dr. Karamcheti was a member of the faculty of the Computer Science Department at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, most recently holding the position of Associate Professor with tenure. Dr. Karamcheti led the Parallel and Distributed Systems group and conducted research in the area of high-performance cluster and grid computing. Dr. Karamcheti also spent a sabbatical year as a Visiting Research Scientist at Google, Inc. as part of the core Systems Infrastructure team, gaining a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges of massive web scale-out system infrastructures.

Dr. Karamcheti received his undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, India, and his master's degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Bruce Horn

Bruce Horn / CFO, Virident

Bruce Horn is responsible for managing the administrative, financial, and risk management operations of Virident, including the development of financial and operational strategy and metrics tied to that strategy, helping to transition the company from its high-growth startup phase to a mature structured entity. He brings to this position more than 30 years of accounting, finance, and management experience with public and private high-technology companies. Prior to joining Virident, Mr. Horn was CFO at Akros Silicon, Signet Solar and StrataLight Communications. Prior to StrataLight, he held the position of CFO and treasurer at Oplink Communications, Inc., which he joined and took public in 2000 raising over $280 million. Prior to Oplink Mr. Horn was CFO and VP of finance at Larscom, Inc., which he took public in 1996 raising over $95 million.

Mr. Horn has a BA in accounting from the University of Northern Iowa and a MBA in finance from California State University.


Ken Grohe / Vice President, World Wide Sales

Ken Grohe is our Vice President Worldwide Customer Operations. Ken has responsibility for worldwide sales, technical pre sales, inside sales, strategic partnerships, channels, and sales operations.

Ken joins Virident from EMC where he led many of the growth products, programs, and divisions during his 25 year career. Most recently, Ken led EMC Flash Products  Division's Global Customer Operations helping customers get Storage Class Memory performance in microseconds from flash solutions. He helped EMC build the Flash teams and established many of the initial solid state, memory, storage, and software solutions and customer wins. Prior to that, he grew throughout his career from a sales executive, district sales leadership and as an Area Manager. He was promoted to lead the adoption and integration of the Clariion mid-tier product line from acquisition to presently over $4B annually, the creation of the Global xSP’s (now the $2B+ Service Providers and Cloud Division), developed the Velocity Partner Program (over $10B Globally), and the Software Partner Program in 2010. Ken brings a combination of deep sales experience, leadership and broad market experiences across high growth and disruptive opportunistic markets.

Ken @LeverageFlash, graduated from Boston College's Carroll School of Management in 1989.


Mark Delsman

Mark Delsman / Global Vice President, Engineering

Mark Delsman is the company's vice president of engineering, with responsibility for engineering and development across all teams and world-wide sites

Prior to Virident, Mr. Delsman grew and developed the Enterprise SSD engineering organization at SanDisk (formerly Pliant) over three years growing revenue by more than 10 times and shipping volume to four of the top seven Tier 1 OEMs. The dynamic growth led to the acquisition of Pliant by SanDisk in May 2011. He was responsible for leading the organization for the line of enterprise SSD/SSA devices including ASIC, firmware, device drivers and management software, hardware, test, and manufacturing test process development. Delsman has significant experience managing and leading across geographic development teams and opened two additional engineering sites in Longmont, Colo., and Bangalore, India, while at SanDisk.

Prior to Pliant/SanDisk, Mr. Delsman held engineering leadership positions with DotHill Systems (VP SW Development), NetApp (Sr Director, NearStore Development), Adaptec (CTO, VP Engineering) and various positions in the disk drive industry including with Seagate, Conner Peripherals, and Maxtor.

Mr. Delsman holds a BS Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a MBA from Santa Clara University.


Carl Munio

Carl Munio / Vice President, Virident Operations

Mr. Munio has over 30 years experience in manufacturing and operations engineering. He has participated in multiple successful startups, developing, staffing and ramping complex product lines with strict quality requirements. Prior to joining Virident, Mr. Munio was Sr. Director in charge of Value Add Operations for Bell Microproducts. Prior to that he was VP, Operations for SMTC California where he managed board assembly and instrument builds for OEM customers in global positioning systems and network acceleration. Before SMTC, Mr. Munio was President of Antares Microsystems, specializing in secure network products for the military, data storage controllers and internet accelerators. He has held a variety of executive positions for leading technology companies including Sun Microsystems and HP.

Mr. Munio has been featured in several studies for developing organizational structures to manage high volume product ramps and models for accelerating and screening failures in electrical components. He received his undergraduate degree in Electronics Technology from the College of San Mateo.


Sunil Samel

Sunil Samel / Global Director, Business Development & Alliances

Mr. Samel is responsible for establishing and managing engagements with Virident’s strategic partners. Earlier at Virident, he has also been responsible for product management and early customer wins.

Mr.Samel has over 20 years of experience spanning software, semiconductor and storage markets, and securing early wins with lighthouse customers in multiple geographies – Europe, Asia-Pacific and the US.

Before Virident, Mr. Samel was co-founder at CoWare (acquired by Synopsys) and at Six-F Systems. The CoWare technology came out of his work with a research team at IMEC Belgium, which pioneered the system level design methodology and integrated software tools for designing complex system-on-chips (SoCs). Six-F Systems was a fabless semi startup developing SoCs with a novel hardware-software architecture for concurrent, multi-standard mobile communications. Earlier, he worked with TCS, India on several projects with technology leaders like Philips Belgium, Bell Northern Research and Bell Labs.

Mr. Samel holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Institute of Technology, BHU, India and a Master’s degree from the University of Antwerp, Belgium.


Jean Okawaki

Jean Okawaki / Director, Human Resources

Ms. Okawaki joined Virident in January 2013 and is responsible for building and leading the human resources effort in support of Virident’s operations worldwide. She has more than 18 years of management and human resource development experience at both private and public companies, and has established a successful track record of creating, implementing and directing innovative human resource initiatives for rapidly growing, high technology companies.

Ms. Okawaki was most recently the Vice President of Global Human Resources at BlueArc Corporation, a leader in scalable, high performance network attached storage with offices in North America, Europe, and Australia. Prior to BlueArc, she led the global human resources effort at Maple Optical Systems, a networking system company with offices in North America and Europe; and before that, led the human resources effort at Chela Financial Resources, a secondary education finance company with more than $2.1 billion in student loan assets. She began her HR career managing the human resources function for the California branch offices of Salomon Brothers, a global investment banking and securities firm.

Ms. Okawaki completed the Human Resources Management Program at San Francisco State University; is an active member of the Society of Human Resource Professionals; and holds Senior Professional HR and Global Professional HR certifications.

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