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Alex Wallner, NetApp

NetApp Inc.
Senior Vice President Worldwide Enterprise and Commercial Field Operations
Alexander Wallner

Alexander Wallner is NetApp’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Enterprise and Commercial Field Operations. He leads Americas, EMEA, and APAC field organizations, and by leveraging best practices from our three geos, helps our Enterprise and Commercial customers and partners with their digital transformations. With the IT landscape in a state of flux and data being more important than ever before, Alex believes NetApp’s role is to assist customers in navigating a path to higher return from their IT investments, accelerate their business performance and minimize their risk.

Alex has a strong history of leading sales teams to success at NetApp. Most recently, as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of EMEA, NetApp was the number one storage player in many markets, including Germany, Austria, Israel, and the overall EMEA leader in the flash storage market for many quarters.

Having started at NetApp in 1999, Alex also has a wealth of partner experience having run the channel business in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Eastern Europe. He started his career at m+s Elektronik AG. Alex holds a degree in Business Administration from FH Regensburg (now OTH Regensburg).

Twitter: @alexwalln


James Whitemore, NetApp

NetApp Inc.
Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
James Whitemore

James Whitemore is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at NetApp. He is responsible for advancing the company’s global marketing strategy and strengthening market recognition to accelerate growth.

As a veteran of the cloud computing, networking and storage industry, James has more than 25 years of experience leading and implementing successful global sales, product management and marketing strategies. A key part of the team since joining NetApp via the SolidFire acquisition in early 2016, James has been central to the development and execution of our Marketing strategy to reposition NetApp from storage to data and the cloud.

In his previous role as VP of Field & Demand Marketing at NetApp, James built and led a modern demand engine as well as managed Field and Partner Marketing, Demand Centers, Global Campaigns, Event Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social, Influence and Community Marketing.

James holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Northumbria University in the UK.

Twitter: @jwhitemore


John Rollason, NetApp

NetApp Inc.
Sr Director Marketing EMEA
John Rollason

John Rollason is Senior Director Marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa. He is responsible for NetApp Marketing strategy and teams across the region. This includes Field & Partner Marketing, Communications, Events, and NetApp’s Global Demand Centre team. In close cooperation with the worldwide Marketing organization under the global CMO, John sets the strategy for the EMEA region and oversees execution through a team of dedicated Marketing professionals in more than 20 countries.

Before heading up EMEA Marketing, John was responsible for NetApp’s global Cloud Infrastructure Marketing strategy, where he oversaw the launch of NetApp Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure (HCI) products. He was also responsible for NetApp’s Converged Infrastructure, Object Storage, DevOps, Unstructured Data and Service Provider solutions Marketing.

From 2014 to 2016, he was Marketing Director for SolidFire, responsible initially for International Marketing (EMEA/APAC), but then for all Corporate, Product and Global Field Marketing functions. Before that, he spent over nine years at NetApp, mainly in the role of Director Product, Solutions & Alliances Marketing EMEA. He re-joined NetApp in 2016 through the acquisition of SolidFire. From 1997 until 2005, John worked at Nortel in a variety of positions in Network Engineering, Business Development and Product Marketing.

John has spoken regularly at industry events for many years. He attended The University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, gaining an M. Eng (Hons) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. A Member of the Institution of Engineering & Technology, he lives near Oxford, England with his family.

Twitter: @JohnRollason


Sophia Groves, NetApp

NetApp Cloud.
Social Media Manager
Sophia Groves

Sophia began her work at NetApp in 2018 and has since moved from the UK to Iceland to head NetApp’s social media global accounts for Cloud Data Services. Her mission is to spearhead NetApp’s cloud-related social activities for all physical and digital events. In doing so, Sophia’s work makes sure NetApp customers and wider ranging audiences are aware of the latest company and product news, as well as NetApp’s position on industry topics. When she’s not providing support to various teams, educating others on social media best practices and gathering insight to send out to NetApp followers and beyond, Sophia enjoys diving into other creative realms. Outside of NetApp, she works on the fashion magazine she owns and runs a creative studio with a focus on photography, graphic design and web design.

Twitter: @NetAppCloud


George Kurian, NetApp

NetApp Inc.
Chief Executive Officer and President
George Kurian

George Kurian is chief executive officer and president at NetApp and a member of the Board of Directors.

George joined the company in 2011, bringing his passion and relentless focus on execution to his leadership roles at NetApp. He was named CEO in June 2015.

Previously at NetApp, as executive vice president of Product Operations, George was responsible for the strategy and development of NetApp’s product and solutions portfolio. Before that George was senior vice president of the Data ONTAP Group. He oversaw the product roadmap and engineering execution for the Data ONTAP operating system, the world’s most widely deployed branded storage operating system.

George joined NetApp as senior vice president of the Storage Solutions Group, where he was responsible for the solutions portfolio and joint partner technology integration.

Prior to joining NetApp, George was vice president and general manager of the Application Networking and Switching Technology Group at Cisco Systems. In this role, he was responsible for Cisco products for the modular campus LAN switching and WAN application delivery markets. He also led Cisco’s successful development of products and solutions to enable Ethernet-based converged networks for video, voice and data.

George’s diverse background also includes the role of vice president at Akamai Technologies, management consulting at McKinsey & Company, and leading software engineering and product management teams at Oracle Corporation.

George holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from Stanford University.

Twitter: @NetApp


Kate Swanborg, DreamWorks

DreamWorks Animation
SVP, Technology Communications and Strategic Alliances
Kate Swanborg

Kate Swanborg is SVP of Technology Communications and Strategic Alliances for DreamWorks Animation. She is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the studio’s worldwide technology communications and business-to-business alliance efforts on behalf of the studio’s technology partners.

In her role, Kate promotes DreamWorks’ dedication to leveraging innovative technologies that enable the studio’s filmmakers and artists and provide the foundation for new technology business initiatives. She is responsible for identifying and managing technology alliances and integrated co-marketing and branding campaigns with the studio’s technology partners. Collaborating closely with the studio and strategic alliance partner executive leadership teams, Kate ensures that DreamWorks delivers consistent and compelling technology messages through a variety of mediums including presentations, press collateral and studio showcases. A practiced public speaker, Kate is frequently requested to provide keynote addresses to further DreamWorks’ business messaging.

Prior to her current role, Kate served as the studio’s Technology Production Manager where she helped develop strategies and action plans for producing animated feature films. She also managed the integration of major production technology solutions, such as stereoscopic 3D and a full re-architecture of the studio’s proprietary tool sets.

Kate earned a MFA from the University of California, San Diego and a BA from Western Michigan University.

Twitter: @KateSwanborg


Steffen Schlecht, Microsoft

EMEA General Manager of Azure Applications & Infrastructure
Steffen Schlecht

Steffen Schlecht joined Microsoft in 2009, bringing his passion and strong focus on technology innovation to his different leadership roles.

Steffen is head of the Azure Application and Infrastructure business in the EMEA region and leads the GBB (Global Black Belt) team of highly specialized sales and technical professionals. The team engages with customers and partners across the EMEA region, driving successful business solution outcomes throughout the most innovative and advanced Azure workloads. In his role, Steffen benefits from 17 years of leadership and industrial expertise to enhance Microsoft’s empowerment of its customers.

Prior to joining the EMEA GBB team, Steffen has worked for 11 years in Microsoft Germany, where he held leadership positions in various functions, including Azure Solutions Sales, Marketing, Strategy and Consulting. Before that, he had led the Strategy & Infrastructure Consult Business in Germany at HP. Steffen holds a degree in Industrial Engineering with a specialization in Sales & Marketing, he is passionate about Cloud & Digital Transformation and dedicated his career to bridging IT and business.


Marcus Masching, Microsoft

Festo SE & Co. KG
Head of IT Computing Services
Marcus Masching

Marcus Masching is Head of IT Computing Services at Festo SE & Co. KG, a family-owned global leader for industrial automation and technical education.

He joined Festo in 2011 and shaped the architecture for the Linux environment and enterprise storage as an internal product manager. He soon took over the overall responsibility for the server, storage and backup infrastructure. In 2016, Festo proclaimed a cloud-first strategy and Marcus was responsible to enable cloud infrastructures of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure for the use of enterprise workloads.

Today, Marcus is responsible for Festo’s IT enterprise infrastructure globally to support the business of more than 20,000 employees in 61 countries. Marcus and his team are driving the IT infrastructure in central data centers at the headquarter, as well as the local environment in global production centers around the world and in the area of local sales companies.


Anthony Lye, NetApp

NetApp Inc.
Senior Vice President and General Manager, NetApp Cloud Data Services Business Unit
Anthony Lye

Anthony Lye is senior vice president and general manager of the Cloud Data Services business unit for NetApp. He is responsible for the strategy and execution to further NetApp’s cloud innovation across private cloud, hybrid cloud, and hyperscaler models and to establish the company as the undisputed leader in managing data in a cloud-integrated world.

Anthony brings more than 25 years of diverse leadership experience to NetApp, spanning roles in development, product management, marketing and sales, and as a high-tech CEO twice. He has focused primarily on cloud innovation for the past 15 years, most recently as the executive vice president and chief cloud officer at Guidewire Software, and at Oracle where he was the senior vice president and general manager of CRM. His background includes leading teams worldwide and hands-on experience building applications and platforms working directly with the developer community.

Earlier in his career, Anthony served as president and CEO for HotSchedules, a vertical cloud company building applications for the restaurant, retail and hospitality industries. He was previously the global president of Digital Platforms, Customer Relationship Management and Channels at Publicis, the world’s largest digital agency. He also held senior leadership positions at Siebel Systems and Remedy Corporation.

Anthony earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering with honors from the University of Bath in Bath, United Kingdom. He serves on the board of Spoken Communications and is a member of the board of trustees for Bath University and an investor in both startups and venture funds.

Twitter: @AnthonyLye


Ingo Fuchs, NetApp

NetApp Inc.
Chief Technologist
Ingo Fuchs

Ingo is a passionate technologist that has covered Sales, Marketing, Product Management, Training and Application Development in his career. Today, Ingo and his team cover solutions across Hybrid Cloud, Enterprise Applications, AI, and DevOps for NetApp. He feels strongly about translating cool tech features to actual customer benefits – and beer, preferably German lagers. When not on the road he enjoys his time in the mountains west of Boulder, CO with his wife, dogs, mini donkeys and trained therapy horse.

Twitter: @IngoFuchs


Matt Watts, NetApp

NetApp Inc.
Matt Watts

As EMEA CTO, Matt Watts provides guidance on NetApp’s overall strategy and technology solutions to a wide base of customers and the global partner community. Matt is also part of the EMEA leadership team providing advice and guidance on technology and transformation.

He is a sought-after keynote speaker who combines his knowledge of the IT industry with anecdotes and stories. On stage, Matt is known for bringing technology to life with witty, easily understandable examples.

Matt started his career in technology as an aircraft engineer and has since accumulated over 25 years of IT experience, 14 of which have been spent with NetApp. Prior to his current role, he oversaw a number of significant IT projects, managed a team of System Engineers responsible for providing installation and onsite support, as well as being responsible for IT outsourcing contracts. This experience has put him in contact with all levels of IT leadership, enabling Matt to understand, communicate with and support clients across a wide range of industries and sizes with their IT strategies.

Matt Watts shares his experiences and industry learnings on his personal blog

Twitter: @mtjwatts