We are honored to work with industry-leading experts and luminaries who share our vision and passion for the future of data center infrastructure. Please meet our directors and industry advisors.
Board of Directors
Gene has been a serial CEO for the past 15 years having been at the helm of three companies prior to DriveScale. NetContinuum developed an application layer firewall appliance for large enterprise and web businesses and was sold to Barracuda Networks. Zero Motorcycles is the leading electric motorcycle company in the world and Gene remains on the Board of Directors. ClearPower Systems designed a waste heat recovery electric power generation system and was sold to Questor Technologies.
A member of the senior management team at Sun Microsystems, Gene was Sr. Vice President/General Manager of the $4 billion/year Desktop Systems group. He also led the Workstation product group, pioneering the company’s first thin client technology, leading Sun’s first ODM deal and sponsoring the acquisition and open-sourcing of the Star Office suite, which propelled it to a globally-trusted brand. Gene was based in Japan for five years as President of Nihon-Sun, expanding Sun’s business fourfold to $800M and raising Japan’s share of Sun’s worldwide business from 9 percent to 16 percent, substantially outgrowing Sun’s business elsewhere.
Gene received an A.B. in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
Co-Founder and Chief Architect, DriveScale
A seasoned technologist and entrepreneur with 25+ years of experience, Satya Nishtala helped found several innovative technology companies. Before founding DriveScale, Satya was a Technology Fellow at Nuova Systems, leading a new architectural approach to systems and networking. Nuova was acquired in 2008 by Cisco, and became the highly successful UCS servers and Nexus switches division. He also served as Vice President of Technology at Netillion, Inc., an early promoter of memory-over-network technology. As a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems Satya’s critically important contributions included the systems architecture for all of the Sun workstations and work group servers as well as Sun Storage Systems through the 1990s.
Satya received a B.E. in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Phillips International Institute in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. His intimate knowledge of server, networking, storage, memory, and system software technologies enables an expansive view of infrastructure trends. He has been granted 31 patents in core data center areas, such as interconnects, power and cooling, and memory systems.
Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, DriveScale
Tom Lyon is a computing systems architect, a serial entrepreneur and a kernel hacker. Prior to founding DriveScale, Tom was founder and Chief Scientist of Nuova Systems, a start-up that led a new architectural approach to systems and networking. Nuova was acquired in 2008 by Cisco, whose highly successful UCS servers and Nexus switches are based on Nuova’s technology. He was also founder and CTO of two other technology companies. Netillion, Inc. was an early promoter of memory-over-network technology. At Ipsilon Networks, Tom invented IP Switching. Ipsilon was acquired by Nokia and provided the IP routing technology for many mobile network backbones.
As employee #8 at Sun Microsystems, Tom was there from the beginning, where he contributed to the UNIX kernel, created the SunLink product family, and was one of the NFS and SPARC architects. He started his Silicon Valley career at Amdahl Corp., where he was a software architect responsible for creating Amdahl’s UNIX for mainframes technology.
Tom holds numerous U.S. patents in system interconnects, memory systems, and storage. He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University.
Managing Director, Pelion Venture Partner
In the last five years, Carl has received four new patents and had three new grandbabies, but it is clearly the grandbabies that are the most important to him. He’s no longer our only grandfather, but he’s still the only one of us with a passel of patents, which we don’t even pretend to understand, and we do follow his grandbabies on social media. He likes to think he’s perceived as a tough-guy executive and technologist, but it’s a hard role to play when we watch Finn, Adeline, and Portia turn him into a pushover Poppie.
Carl is a (former) marathoner, an avid hiker (having done twenty Fourteeners and been to Kilimanjaro), a SCUBA diver, and a technical rock climber. And that’s saying something. He has also been on every continent, including on mainland Antarctica, to over seventy countries, swum in every ocean in the world, including the Baltic, the Black Sea, and both the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans (where it was 29 degrees Fahrenheit—can you say shrinkage?). We tell you these not to boast about Carl, but to point out one irrefutable truth that he mentions all the time in defense of his activities: They’re a lot safer than his day job.
Carl has been in the venture capital business for 23 years — thirteen at Pelion and the rest at Novell and AT&T. And during that time he has served on the boards of three public and more than twenty private companies. Carl has served in senior executive positions at IBM (where he was Lab Director of the Engineering and Scientific Processor Products Laboratory at Kingston, NY), Control Data Corporation (where he was President of CDC’s supercomputer subsidiary, ETA Systems), SUN Microsystems (where he ran SUN’s PC Networking Division), and AT&T (where he was President of the Consumer Products Division).
Managing Director, Nautilus Venture Partners
Connie Sheng is the founding managing partner of Nautilus Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley venture capital fund focusing on early stage investments in mobile and IoT areas.
Connie is also a member of Silicon Valley China Angel and CFO of Silicon Valley Association of Industrial Innovations. Connie currently sits on several boards including DriveScale.
Previously, Connie was the managing director of Global Investment at Foxconn. Connie has also worked in HP Computing, Inkjet imaging and Printing, and Enterprise System business units for over 7 years.
Connie is a member of the DriveScale Board of Directors.
CEO, RedSeal Inc.
Ray is presently Chairman and CEO of RedSeal, Inc. an enterprise cyber security company.
In 2013 Ray transitioned to Partner Emeritus of Venrock, an early-stage tech investment partnership originally formed by the Rockefeller family. During his 25-year career at Venrock he invested in 53 early- stage technology companies. He led both the Internet and energy investment programs and was a member of the management committee for Venrock. His market leading cyber security investments included Check Point Software, Vontu, PGP, P-Cube, Imperva, CloudFlare, and Shape Security.
His Venrock track record resulted in his being listed twice on the Forbes Midas List. A leader in the venture industry he was elected by his peers as chairman of the National Venture Capital Association for 2012-13.
He is an active angel investor and serves on the boards of Check Point Software Technology (NASDAQ: CHKP), Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) and several private companies including Team8, Shape Security, Colabo, CTERA, Unbounded Tech, and TAE Technologies, a clean fusion energy company.
Ray has testified several times to Congress, the President’s Blue-Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, and is an invited speaker on venture capital, startup companies, cyber security, nuclear energy, climate change, and energy policy in general.
In 2013 he was a co-executive producer of the documentary, Pandora’s Promise. He’s is a founding member and director of the Nuclear Innovation Alliance as well as the board of the Breakthrough Institute, Oakland, CA. In 2018 he authored Digital Resilience, published by Harper Collins, a management thought leadership book on an effective strategy to win the cyber war the world is in today. As a result of his advocacy private/public partnerships for clean energy, he serves on both the DOE’s GAIN Executive Advisory Board and on its Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee.
Ray holds a BS in Nuclear Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, from Texas A & M University, a MS in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MBA with Distinction from the Harvard Business School. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University, Distinguished Alumnus of the MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering Department, and Distinguished Member of Tau Beta Pi. He is a Member of the Corporation for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology serving on several Visiting Committees. He is vice chairman of the board of the University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company (UTIMCO). He also serves on the National Association of Corporate Directors Northern California Board. He also is the bassist in the Bay Area rock group, “Up and to the Right.”
Dr. Tai-Yu Chou is the President of Cloud Enterprise Solutions Business Group within Foxconn Industrial Internet, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group.
Tai-Yu has been with Foxconn for more than 16 years where he leads Cloud infrastructure, HPC, 8K+5G ecosystems development. Prior to joining Foxconn, Tai-Yu was with Sun Microsystems with various engineering and management positions for Enterprise Servers and Workstations. He was the principal developer for electromagnetic and high speed signal and structure simulation tools with Ansoft Corporation. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
Scott was chairman of the board of directors of Sun Microsystems, a company he co-founded in 1982.
From 1984 to 2006, McNealy served as chief executive officer and chairman at Sun, steering the Company to constant innovation in open, network computing.
In his 22 years at the helm, McNealy grew Sun from a Silicon Valley start-up to a leading provider of network computing infrastructure with 37,900 employees worldwide, all while positioning the Company as the model of corporate integrity.
In 1986, he took Sun public, creating one of the most notable publicly traded technology companies.
Since leaving Sun after Oracle bought it, McNealy co-founded Wayin, a Denver-based digital marketing company, and has served as Chairman and has been CEO since 2015.
He also serves of the board of www.Curriki.org and the advisory board of the San Jose Sharks
Amr Awadallah, Ph.D.
CTO, Cloudera, Inc.
Before co-founding Cloudera in 2008, Amr (@awadallah) was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Accel Partners. Prior to joining Accel he served as Vice President of Product Intelligence Engineering at Yahoo!, and ran one of the very first organizations to use Hadoop for data analysis and business intelligence. Amr joined Yahoo after they acquired his first startup, VivaSmart, in July of 2000. Amr holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cairo University, Egypt, and a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
Independent Security Consultant
Whitfield Diffie is known, along with Stanford electrical engineering professor Martin Hellman, for introducing a radically new method of managing cryptographic keys, called public-key cryptography, together with a particular technique that is known as the Diffie–Hellman key exchange, that opened the door to the development of new classes of encryption algorithms. Diffie and Hellman were awarded the 2015 Turing Award for their work and contributions to the field of cryptology. Diffie previously served as Chief Security Officer at Sun Microsystems and as VP of Information Security at The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit responsible for the global coordination of the Internet’s unique identifiers and its stable operation. He is currently an independent security consultant, an affiliate of Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, and visiting professor at Royal Hollow College of the University of London.
Former CTO, JP Morgan Chase
Ameet Patel is a seasoned & noted advisor/investor in early stage and high growth technology companies looking to disrupt and revolutionize enterprise computing markets and business models.
He is currently a senior advisor to TPG Growth. He was a CTO at JPMC, Managing Executive of LabMorgan, and SVP & Chief Architect of Chase’s consumer business. He was also an EIR/Venture Partner at Meritech Capital.
Ingrid is a technologist at heart. With a degree in Math and concentration in Computer Science from SJSU, she was a software developer earlier in her career. She was persuaded to try her hand at marketing, and now combines her creativity and analytics background to drive modern marketing forward. She is the CMO of H2O.ai, the open source leader in AI and ML. Her 25+ year marketing career includes heading up marketing at Sun Microsystems, leading Innovation and Technology Marketing at SAP, and CMO roles with Plantronics, Silver Spring Networks, and most recently, the Big Data leader, Hortonworks. Her passion to blend art and science has helped energize these companies’ brands and drive demand for the business with modern marketing practices.
Former President, Hortonworks
Cunitz brings more than 30 years of sales and marketing experience in enterprise software, including four years as President of Hortonworks. In addition to advising several emerging software companies, Cunitz previously helped three companies – Hortonworks, Vitria and Viasoft – go public, and guided two companies – SpringSource and Savvion – through successful acquisitions. Cunitz will advise DriveScale on best practices for growing and managing the company’s go-to-market operations, which include sales, marketing, services, channels and operations.