Founder and previous CEO Mohit Aron will focus on technology and product strategy.

Jeffrey Schwartz

August 2, 2022

3 Min Read
growth 8

Cohesity founder Mohit Aron is handing over the reins of the data protection provider to former VMware COO Sanjay Poonen. Aron announced on Tuesday that he has tapped Poonen to be Cohesity’s CEO and president.


Cohesity’s Sanjay Poonen

Poonen, who spent seven years at VMware, previously held leadership positions at SAP, Symantec and Informatica. Early in his career. Poonen was an engineer at Apple. VMware originally brought Poonan in to expand its VDI and end user computing (EUC) business with the acquisition of AirWatch. Poonen ultimately became VMware’s COO under CEO Pat Gelsinger.

After Gelsinger departed, Poonen left when VMware passed him over as CEO in favor of Raghu Raghuram. Aron said he has tapped Poonen to take Cohesity to the “next phase” of its growth. While Aron didn’t elaborate, the move might suggest that Cohesity is considering a major venture such as an IPO.

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in July.

“Not only does Sanjay come to us with a proven pedigree in managing and scaling successful software businesses, he also has been a key visionary and architect of security and cloud partnerships such as AWS, Microsoft, and Google, and acquisitions such as AirWatch and CarbonBlack,” Aron wrote. “And he brings a host of established connections with customers, partners, analysts and investors that will help accelerate his effectiveness in the role.”

Randy De Meno, chief strategy officer at Parablu, a storage startup and Cohesity partner, described Poonen as a good choice.


Parablu’s Randy De Meno

“I see it as an IPO-value-prep move, theoretically adding Wall Street confidence and additional branding and awareness,” De Meno said. “I’ve been told Sanjay and Mohit really do get along well.”

Aron Continues as Chief Technology and Product Officer

With Poonen taking over as CEO, Aron will continue as chief technology and product officer.

“I will continue to devote my time to ensuring that we have the greatest products and solutions in the industry as we disrupt the $25 billion market for data management with our next-gen approach,” Aron added. “One aspect of Sanjay’s experience that I find particularly exciting is his unique perspective of the opportunity we have to transform an industry, based on his time at VMware. Like VMware, we are bringing a radically new approach to an industry that has seen very little innovation, offering new value in security, simplicity, scale, efficiency and much more.”

In a 3-minute video posted on Cohesity’s website, Poonen pointed at Aron’s background and technical vision for Cohesity.

“What he and the team have done here is nothing short of phenomenal,” Poonen said. “The product, I believe, is the best in its category, a platform approach to data management and data security built at web scale. [Aron] has a background with from building the Google File System and then being one of the founding CTOs of Nutanix building a lot of the code there.”

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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