NetApp appoints new CMO

NetApp has appointed software and cloud-focused Gabrielle Boko as its new CMO to replace the departing James Whitemore.

Whitemore, NetApp EVP and CMO from November 2019 until this month, and ex-CMO of all-flash array startup SolidFire, bought by Netapp in Feb 2016, has resigned to pursue another opportunity; we don’t know what that is.

NetApp president Cesar Cernuda announced the new CMO appointment on LinkedIn, saying: “Gabie has accepted the reins to lead our strategic marketing initiatives as we continue to evolve as a global, cloud-led, data-centric software company.”

Gabrielle Boko and James Whitemore, NetApp
Gabrielle Boko (left) and James Whitemore

Gabie Boko has been NetApp’s SVP of Portfolio Marketing for the past year, and was involved with the launch of its Evolved Cloud positioning last fall. She also, we’re told, spearheaded the launch of Blue XP, NetApp’s unified control plane for delivering a hybrid multicloud experience for storage and data services across on-premises and cloud environments.

She joined NetApp after six years at HPE in Global VP roles, initially for software marketing and then as Global VP promoting digital business as HPE’s Unified Customer Experience Officer for its cloud. Before that she was an EVP and CMO at Sage, VP Marketing at SAP, and spent marketing exec time at OutlookSoft, acquired by SAP, Cognos, Convera and others before that.

Boko says of her skill set: “Some of my business specialties include Company and Product Messaging, Digital strategy across media and web, Brand and Communications including Social, Demand Generation both traditional and digital, Customer Experience (CX), Data Science (AI and Big Data), content marketing, customer storytelling, strategic brand sponsorships, marketing operations and measurement, and funnel/pipeline management and the desire and goal to collaborate across all these disciplines.

“I want to continue to be a pioneer for all change and bring passion to my work and my life every day.”

At NetApp, that will involve a focus on software, the Internet Edge and its Data Fabric services across on-premises and multiple public cloud environments. Whitemore was a salesperson at heart and Boko is not. Apart from once creating and selling marketing programs and conferences for The Conference Group back in the 2004-2006 period, it’s been marketing all the way.