Mohit Aron, Cohesity’s founder, steps back as new CTO climbs aboard

Data protector and manager Cohesity has hired Dr Craig Martell as its new CTO with founder, ex-CEO, chief strategy and technical officer Mohit Aron stepping back to a “founder emeritus” role.

Mohit Aron.

Aron founded Cohesity in June 2013 and was its CEO until he and the board hired Sanjay Poonen to replace him in August 2022. Aron then moved to the chief product and technology officer position, adjusting that to chief strategy and technology officer in May last year. Now he moves further away from the detailed technology front line as Martell takes over.

A Cohesity spokesperson tells us: “As founder emeritus, Mohit will offer strategic and architectural input, participate in external speaking engagements, and represent the company in customer visits. We are excited about his continued involvement as founder emeritus in shaping what’s next in AI and accelerated computing, which not only differentiates Cohesity but also advances our direction to protect, secure, and provide insights into the world’s data.”

Dr Craig Martell.

Martell has an AI-infused CV – which is appropriate as Cohesity recently announced its Gaia generative AI chatbot. He comes to Cohesity from being the chief digital and AI officer at the US Department of Defence. Before that he was head of machine learning at Uber-like, mobility-as-a-service provider Lyft, which followed a stint at Dropbox as head of machine intelligence. This, in turn, was preceded by a head of machine learning science and engineering slot at LinkedIn.

He has academic creds as well, having being adjunct professor at Northeastern University, where he taught machine learning. He was also a tenured computer science professor at the Naval Postgraduate School specializing in natural language processing. And he’s filed several patents.

He wrote in a LinkedIn post: “I have had a strong relationship with Cohesity for many years and have always been impressed by their goal of doing analytics directly on top of secondary data. They have spent the last 11 years ‘getting the data right,’ and I am excited to now play a part in advancing their AI and machine learning technology.”

His Cohesity statement said: “My role will be to accelerate the innovation internally and the advocacy externally of Cohesity’s AI-powered innovations that are second to none.”

Let Poonen had the final words: “Attracting and hiring an industry pioneer of Craig’s calibre – someone who has been driving an agenda of responsible AI at the highest levels of both public and private sector organizations – rounds out our strong executive leadership team with expertise across security, multi-cloud, and AI. I expect that Craig’s experience and vision for Cohesity’s AI roadmap will accelerate our lead in this critical area of our business.”