New broom at Hitachi Vantara sweeps away two top execs

Two senior Hitachi Vantara execs have left the company without fanfare, signalling a shakeup by new CEO Gajen Kandiah.

A Hitachi Vantara spokesperson confirmed that CMO Jonathan Martin and Digital Solutions business unit President Brad Surak are no longer with the business. In their place CEO Gajen Kandiah is “acting as interim President of the Digital Solutions Business Unit, and John Magee, previously head of Digital Solutions Marketing, is the new VP of Marketing, reporting to Gajen.”

The spokesperson revealed Kandiah “expects to make a leadership team announcement early in the New Year. The changes are in line with Gajen’s evolving vision for the company which you can read about in his latest blog.”

Gajen Kandiah.

Kandiah, the former head of Cognizant’s digital business, was recruited as CEO in July. In his blog, he says customers are concerned with how Hitachi V’s storage, cloud, data management, analytics and consulting capabilities all fit together. They are also focusing on “the likely permanence of the changes COVID-19 has wrought on the way we live, work, learn and play. Many of [them] tell me: there is no going back.”

He outlines five focus areas for Hitachi Vantara.

  1. Lowering data centre costs through increased storage array scalability and automation. (He cites the VSP 5000 array, soon to be delivered in software-only form.)
  2. Enabling hybrid cloud IT with end-to-end offerings.
  3. Expanded Kubernetes offerings to run applications in any cloud, edge device, vehicle, or power plant.
  4. More app modernisation, data management and analytics offerings.
  5. Operational and Information technology convergence at the Edge in the data generated by machines, devices and remote workers.

Kandiah said Hitachi V should evolve its portfolio “to keep pace with – or leapfrog -the changing market. You can count on us to create and deliver the solutions clients need, whether we build them ourselves or tap an ecosystem of partners to do so.”

Hitachi Vantara’s two business units, Digital Infrastructure and Digital Solutions, were formed via the merger of Hitachi’s storage subsidiary Hitachi Vantara with Hitachi Consulting. This reorg was completed in January and a big round of layoffs ensued.

Blocks & Files would be unsurprised if Hitachi V sees a declining need for in-house consultants to spec and implement its increasingly automated end-to-end IT product and service offerings.