Gene Banman


Gene has a distinguished 30-year career in the enterprise computer and software IT market. Gene spent 15 years at Sun Microsystems where his last assignment was Sr. Vice President/General Manager of the $3.5 billion/year Desktop Systems group, where he pioneered the industry’s first thin client desktop; lead the first ODM project for Sun, introducing their lowest cost workstation; 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 Microsystems K.K., expanding Sun’s business fourfold to $800M and raising Japan’s share of Sun’s worldwide business from 9 percent to 16 percent.

After leaving Sun in 2000, Gene became CEO of NetContinuum, which pioneered the concept of Application Layer Firewall technology.  NetContinuum was sold to Barracuda Networks. Next Gene got caught up in the green-tech enthusiasm of the 2000 decade and was CEO of Zero Motorcycles, the world’s leading electric motorcycle company. Gene got Zero started by raising the seed money and then another $90 MM to get the company off the ground.  Gene is still on the Board of Directors of Zero Motorcycles, as well as being on the Board of Curriki, a non-profit, which is the largest repository of K-12 Course Materials for teachers.

Gene graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in physics. He also has an MBA from Carnegie-Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.

Satya Nishtala

Co-Founder and Chief Architect

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.

Tom Lyon

Co-Founder and Chief Scientist

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.


Brian Pawlowski


Brian Pawlowski is a distinguished technologist, with more than 35 years of experience in building technologies and leading teams in high-growth environments at global technology companies such as Sun Microsystems, NetApp and Pure Storage. Before joining DriveScale as CTO, Brian served as vice president and chief architect at Pure Storage, where he focused on improving the user experience for the all-flash storage platform provider’s rapidly growing customer base. He also was CTO at storage pioneer NetApp, which he joined as employee #18.

Brian began his career as a software engineer for a number of well-known technology companies. Early in his days as a technologist, he worked at Sun, where he drove the technical analysis and discussion on alternate file systems technologies. Brian has also served on the board of trustees for the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology as well as a member of the board at the Linux Foundation.

Brian studied computer science at Arizona State University, physics at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as physics at MIT.

Chief Product Officer

Denise Shiffman

Chief Product Officer

Over the past 25 years, Denise Shiffman has successfully identified and capitalized on unmet customers needs to inform product design, create differentiated marketing narratives and enable solutions that resonate with customers. Denise is credited for turning a $50M switching product line into a $500M market leader, reinventing a cybersecurity product portfolio turning years of negative returns to strong growth, and transforming the brand of a Fortune 500 company. With the ability to synthesize vast, inconsistent data, deeply understand customers and radically transform teams, collaboration, and operations, Denise has consistently led change and growth.

Today, Denise is Chief Product Officer at DriveScale where she leads product strategy, product management, and product marketing. Previously, Denise was SVP, Product Management, Alliance Partnerships, and Strategy at Juniper Networks, and VP of Product Management and Marketing at Sun Microsystems.

Jeff Remy, VP of Engineering

Jean-Francois (Jeff) Remy

VP of Engineering

Jean-Francois has 12 years of industry experience in a wide range of domains. Most recently, he led the redesign from scratch of Technicolor’s gateway software stack. Aside from the consumer electronics domain, he also helped design a virtual agent system as well as a country wide network security monitoring system.

Jean-Francois graduated from both Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau and Telecom ParisTech in Paris specializing in applied mathematics and computer science.

VP of Marketing at DriveScale

Laura Lilyquist

VP of Marketing

Laura began her career in Silicon Valley at Sun Microsystems, where she was first the product line leader for networking products, and then went on to establish the European division of the networking business. Later, she positioned the company as an innovator in the rapidly evolving mobile landscape with a focus on corporate development and solutions marketing. In this role, she founded and led a global solutions business team to develop and sell integrated mobile solutions to mobile carriers and large enterprises.

After Sun, Laura joined Microsoft as global director of customer marketing where she built global field marketing programs to drive brand preference and market awareness for the company’s industry-first IPTV solution for large telecom carriers. As director of strategic planning at Symantec, Laura helped launch the company into the Software-as-a-service (SaaS) market by building and driving business plans across product marketing, product management and IT teams.

After Symantec, Laura became an early employee at startup LiveHive where she built the first marketing team and launched the company. As vice president of marketing, she led the design of LiveHive’s brand development, go-to-market plan, demand generation and digital media strategies. In her most recent role before leading marketing at DriveScale, she built and led global portfolio marketing for the software-defined data center and hybrid cloud solutions as senior marketing director at VMware.

Laura holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin.

Jeff Raice, VP of Sales

Jeff Raice

VP of Sales

Jeff is a serial entrepreneur with a successful leadership record in emerging technology companies. Prior to DriveScale, Jeff was Vice President of Business Development at Natero, where he helped the big data analytics SaaS vendor re-focus its technology on the Customer Success market, while leading their sales and marketing efforts.

Jeff was a founder and Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Packet Design, Inc., where he led product strategy, marketing and partnerships, including signing OEM and strategic relationships with HP, Juniper, CA and Ericsson. As Vice President of Sales at video networking vendor, Precept Software, Jeff closed an OEM deal with Cisco Systems leading to their acquisition of the company.

After 3 years as the top producing Regional Sales Director at Network Computing Devices, Jeff was promoted to Vice President of Marketing where he helped the thin client computing pioneer achieve revenue growth from $30M to $150M+, culminating in a successful IPO.

Jeff also held a variety of management positions at Sun Microsystems, Daisy Systems and HP. He received a B.S.E.E. degree from Cornell University.

2017_08_15_DriveScale_Alan B_sq

Alan Butler

VP of Global Alliances and Business Development

Alan  has  more than 20 years of direct and indirect enterprise sales, global alliances, services, and operations experience in both start ups and fortune 100 firms.

Prior to DriveScale, he was in various management roles at DellEMC, focused on Dell’s Global Systems Integrator & Service Provider business including firms such as Deloitte, Accenture, and DellEMC’s first GTM model with AWS. Alan’s extensive enterprise experience and history includes leadership roles at Force10 Networks (acquired by Dell), Astute Networks, Adobe Systems, and over 22 years at Sun Microsystems from 1984 where he started his career from Cork, Ireland.

Chris Munford, VP of Technical Operations

Chris Munford

VP of Field Technical Operations

Chris has 20+ years of experience in Field Operations and Product Development helping to establish and sell several infrastructure startup companies in the fields of datacom, telecom, optical transport, and mobile video.  These companies include Azuki Systems, Internet Photonics, and NorthChurch Communications; acquired by Ericsson, Ciena, Alcatel Lucent, and Newbridge Networks.  He has held various senior roles including Founding Engineer, CTO, Solution Architect, and Product Manager.  Chris specializes in the translation of complex emerging technology into simple tangible value for customers.

Chris comes to DriveScale from Ericsson USA where he was the Vice President and Head of Media Technical Sales for the Americas.

VP and General Manager EMEA

Henk Jan Spanjaard

VP and General Manager, EMEA

Henk Jan has  more than 20 years of experience in networking, data storage, security, and encryption. His extensive knowledge of the EMEA market will play an important role in building a strong regional presence for DriveScale and its Composable Infrastructure platform.

Spanjaard joined NetApp in 1998 where he held various roles, eventually becoming the regional director for southern Europe, and later became the managing director of EMEA for Decru, a company, in the security market, acquired by NetApp. He then continued his career in security as the vice president of EMEA for Mu Dynamics, a company acquired by Spirent Communications in 2012. Spanjaard later led operations in EMEA for computer networking and security firm Imperva, followed by a vice president role at IT automation and security company Infoblox. Most recently, Spanjaard was the vice president of EMEA for A10 Networks, a company offering high-performance application security and networking solutions.

Country Manager, Japan

Toshiharu Gomi

Country Manager, Japan

Toshiharu Gomi has 30 years of IT business experience in Japan subsidiary management, enterprise storage business development and partner relationship management. Toshiharu joins DriveScale from HGST, where he served as the Senior Director for Enterprise Sales in Japan following the company’s acquisition of Virident. In his role at Virident and HGST, he was instrumental in several of the company’s largest regional accounts, including Yahoo! Japan. Prior to his role at HGST, he also held management positions at 3PAR (acquired by HP) and at Nihon Sun Microsystems, where he generated $1.7 billion in revenue for the company.