Pure Storage exec shuffle combines FlashBlade and FlashArray product managment

Pure Storage is ringing in some exec-level changes after combining the FlashBlade and FlashArray product management teams.

FlashBlade is an all-flash array for storing unstructured data. It includes a FlashBlade//S variant, with disaggregated and modular compute and storage design features, and a FlashBlade//E product optimized for capacity. FlashArray is a line of all-flash unified block+file storage arrays with three variants: high-performance //X models; tier 2 workload FlashArray//C products; and capacity-optimized //E models.

According to Pure, Amy Fowler is no longer the VP and general manager (GM) for FlashBlade, a position she was appointed to in November 2022. Instead she is now GM for the commercial line of business.

Shawn Hansen is now VP and GM of the Core Platform business unit and gets the FlashBlade product added to his FlashArray line of responsibility. He also leads the Fusion and Cloud Block Store cloud services product teams.

From left to right: Amy Fowler, Matt Burr, Ajay Singh, and Shawn Hansen.

When Fowler was appointed FlashBlade GM, she succeeded Matt Burr, who subsequently became interim Chief Marketing Officer. He has now become the Chief Operating Officer. This follows the retirement earlier this month of Mike Fitzgerald, VP Operations. Consequently, Pure no longer has a CMO.

Fowler and two other GMs are now running the lines of business, including Bill Cerreta, who is leading hyperscale, and Maciej Kranz, in charge of enterprise, appointed in September 2023.

Cerreta joined Pure Storage in 2013 and became VP and GM of the Platform business unit, responsible for the strategy and delivery of the hardware developed for FlashArray, FlashBlade, and ObjectEngine platforms. Fowler was hired as the FlashBlade GM in November 2022 after its product management was separated out. Now it has returned to the core platform group.

A spokesperson at Pure Storage denied the reorg was due to slowing sales of FlashBlade: “FlashBlade continues to be one of the most innovative products in the market and has achieved $2 billion in sales since inception. With the recent launch of FlashBlade//E, sales and pipeline have exceeded our expectations and it is experiencing the fastest growth of all prior new product releases.

“Today, FlashBlade is fully GPU-ready and battle tested at the highest levels of performance. Pure is one of, if not the first vendors to bring a product to market in the storage + AI space and we’ve been partnering with NVIDIA since 2018. Hundreds of our customers (including Meta) deploy our joint solutions for intensive and demanding workloads such as high-frequency trading, data analytics, and AI Training and Inference.

“What sets us apart in performance is FlashBlade’s metadata engine, engineered to handle AI workloads that ingest and manage billions of files, where many other competitive solutions struggle and even fall-over. Our metadata engine leverages a common pool of DirectFlash, rather than separate tiers of ‘exotic storage’ (i.e. Storage Class Memory) providing significant performance and scale in metadata processing versus the rest of the market. DirectFlash also provides FlashBlade with fast write performance in addition to reads, consistently across the entire dataset.”

Pure’s spokesperson added: “Pure’s comprehensive portfolio continues to be led by Ajay Singh, Chief Product Officer, and is an innovation engine. Shawn Hansen, leader of the Core Platform Business Unit, continues to report to Ajay Singh.”

As for exec-level moves in general: “As Pure continues to scale and innovate, we regularly evaluate our business to ensure that it aligns with our strategic priorities.”