John has been pioneering break-through storage system innovations for over 25 years, including his role as founder and CTO at LeftHand Networks. LeftHand was sold to HP in 2008. Prior to founding LeftHand, John was director of software engineering at Maxtor Corporation’s Network Systems Group. John holds three storage patents and was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist in 2005 and 2006. He was selected by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce for the Esprit Entrepreneur of Distinction award in 2006. John holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University.
Kelly Long, CTO and Founder
Kelly has been innovating in the storage industry for over 20 years. An expert in architecting and developing storage software, Kelly has contributed to the advancement of a wide range of technologies such as hard drives, high concurrency multi-thread/multi-processor/multi-computer computing, and clustered storage systems. He has multiple patents. Kelly has worked at leading companies including Maxtor, StorageTek, LeftHand Networks, Copan, Dot Hill, CrossWalk, MySQL, and Sun. He was a co-founder and chief software architect at LeftHand Networks. Kelly has a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Pat Benner, CFO
Pat is an experienced and successful executive with over 20 years of finance and operations experience, including buy side and sell side M&A transactions, venture funding and fast growth environments. He has spent 10 years as CFO in venture-backed and mid-market private companies, as well as division CFO at a Fortune 50 company. Companies prior to NexGen include StrionAir, The Beryl Companies, Access Health and McKesson. Pat is a CPA and started his career with Ernst & Young. He received a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento.
David Bangs, SVP of Worldwide Sales
David brings to NexGen extensive experience leading sales organizations focused on selling to storage professionals. He joined the company from Drobo, where as the SVP of worldwide sales he helped lead the company to surpass the 200,000th customer mark, achieve its first 1 petabyte sale, and transition to generating more than 50 percent of revenues from the Drobo business line of products. Prior to Drobo, he led the HP StorageWorks sales organization, tasked with penetrating US Emerging Growth Accounts to deliver annual storage and networking product revenues in excess of $900M. Previously, David was VP of worldwide sales at LeftHand Networks, where he built and led the sales organization from initial shipments to more than 5,000 SANs sold and the company's acquisition by HP in November 2008. Prior to LeftHand, David held sales leadership roles at Quantum and Control Data. He earned his BA (Honors) in Business from South Bank University, London, England.
Chris McCall, VP Marketing Twitter
Chris brings over 15 years of industry experience to NexGen, including his prior position at Hewlett Packard where he led worldwide product marketing for the SAN portfolio. In that role, he oversaw go-to-market strategy and marketing integration of multiple new product acquisitions. Before HP, Chris was director of product marketing at LeftHand Networks, where he was instrumental in establishing LeftHand as a leader in the scale out storage category. Chris holds an MBA from Seattle University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from North Dakota State University.
Bruce Helart, VP of Engineering and Operations
Bruce brings 30 years of progressive management experience to the NexGen leadership team with executive roles in operations, engineering, and supply chain and division management. Prior to NexGen, he was executive director of engineering at Seagate Technology where he led multiple corporate initiatives, most recently as the R&D project director for the Seagate Samsung HDD merger. Previous assignments included directing the design, development and production of Seagate’s retail products and director of volume products for client storage. During his career in the data storage industry, Bruce has overseen the development, launch and management of over 45 discrete products and product families. He’s directed major projects in the US, as well as China, Taiwan, Singapore and Korea. Bruce has a BA from the University of New Mexico.
Rick Merlo, VP Sales
Rick has more than 18 years of sales and management experience with an exceptional track record for building best-in-class indirect channel sales and marketing organizations for early stage companies. Prior to NexGen, he held key leadership roles with Hewlett-Packard, LeftHand Networks, VERITAS, CommVault, Exabyte and StorageTek. While at LeftHand Networks, Rick was instrumental in establishing LeftHand as a market leader in iSCSI SAN solutions.