Infinidat picks Western Digital exec to be its new CEO

Infinidat, the enterprise large array supplier, has appointed a new CEO and CFO, replacing its co-CEO structure and completing the leadership transition from founder Moshe Yanai’s era.

The new CEO is Phil Bullinger, the ex-SVP and GM of Western Digital’s Data Centre Business Unit. This business unit was largely shelved by WD in September 2019, with the IntelliFlash product sold to DDN and the ActiveScale archival array to Quantum.

Phil Bullinger.

Scott Gilbertson, a member of the Infinidat Board of Directors, supplied a statement: ”Phil’s breadth of experience overseeing product development, strategy, and operations will enable him to lead Infinidat as it delivers the innovative and agile storage technologies its customers require for sustained competitive advantage.”

Bullinger joined WD in 2017 from EMC where he was the SVP and GM for its Isilon business unit.

Infinidat has hired Alon Rozenshein as its new CFO. Former co-CEO Nir Simon, becomes the sales head for the EMEA and Japan territories. The other co-CEO, Kariel Sadler, left the company last month. Rozenshein joins from Clarizen, a company that Infinidat executive chairman Boaz Chalamish also chairs. Chalamish’s role at Infinidat may change in the coming months, as he has finished “shepherding the company through its transition”.

Bullinger is based in Colorado and is not relocating to Infinidat’s Tel Aviv headquarters. Instead there will be lot of teleconferencing until the pandemic restraints ease, and then he will be well-positioned to meet face-to-face with Infinidat’s US customers, the company told us.

 A Chalamish statement said: “As we focus on executing the company’s strategy, we can rest assured that the new leadership will continue to carry on our cohesive, globally-facing approach to the market – while working closely with the Israeli-based engineering and product operations teams”.

Bullinger confirmed that founder Moshe Yanai is an active Chief Technology Evangelist for Infinidat, is “a huge advocate for Infinidat” and remains a major investor. Bullinger also said that Rozenshein is a “very strategic CFO”.

He told Blocks & Files that Infinidat is profitable, cashflow positive, and growing. The company grew in each 2020 quarter, and posted significant Y/Y growth in the fourth quarter. There was 24 per cent growth in PB deployed Y/Y in 2020, and 10 new Fortune 500 customers came on board in the year, with an average deal size of more than $1.3m. The company also hired extra staff in the fourth quarter.

Infinidat executive management team.

Bullinger said the Infinidat management team is experienced and solid and hisf ocus is to ensure the company executes its strategy and continue its profitable growth. His priorities include growing go-to-market capability, and scaling sales and engineering. There will be product enhancements to increase Infinidat’s value to its customers, he added.

Infinidat has now completed its changeover from being led by its founding CEO, guiding engineering light and Israel-based Moshe Yanai, to be a possibly more global business led by Bullinger.

Bullinger said the Covid-19 pandemic had levelled the playing field in one way. Because sales teams could not visit or, indeed, dominate customers with face-to-face sales team attention, there was a reliance on Zoom-style meetings and documentation. This was favourable to Infinidat and the company was getting involved in more requests to tender.