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As an amateur musician, I'll probably never get a chance to conduct the Boston Symphony. But "conducting" this great team at Wasabi is just as satisfying. Virtuosos all! — David Friend

Executive Team

President, CEO & Co-Founder

David Friend

David Friend is the co-founder and CEO of Wasabi, a revolutionary cloud storage company. David’s first company, ARP Instruments developed synthesizers used by Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and even helped Steven Spielberg communicate with aliens providing that legendary five-note communication in Close Encounters of the ThirdKind.

Friend founded or co-founded five other companies: Computer Pictures Corporation – an early player in computer graphics, Pilot Software – a company that pioneered multidimensional databases for crunching large amounts of customer data, Faxnet – which became the world’s largest provider of fax-to-email services, Sonexis – a VoIP conferencing company, and immediately prior to Wasabi, what is now one of the world’s leading cloud backup companies, Carbonite.

David is a respected philanthropist and is on the board of Berklee College of Music, where there is a concert hall named in his honor, and serves as president of the board of Boston Baroque, an orchestra and chorus that has received 7 Grammy nominations. An avid mineral and gem collector he donated Friend Gem and Mineral Hall at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

David graduated from Yale and attended the Princeton University Graduate School of Engineering where he was a David Sarnoff Fellow.

@davidfriend

CTO & Co-founder

Jeff Flowers

Jeff Flowers is the co-founder and CTO of Wasabi. Together with David Friend he has started, built, and sold five successful technology companies. Most recently they co-founded Carbonite, one of the world’s leading cloud backup companies. Carbonite backs up hundreds of millions of new files every day using technology that Jeff and David’s team created. It was their shared vision for a next generation cloud storage architecture that gave birth to Wasabi hot cloud storage.

Jeff holds an M.S. and a B.S. in Information and Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology.

“All the world’s data — photos, movies, medical images, genomes, IoT, you name it — has to get stored somewhere and nobody, including the Big 3, is doing a particularly good job at it. It’s a simple product, a simple business model, and really simple pricing. Everyone needs to store data, so everyone is a potential Wasabi customer. What an amazing opportunity!” says Flowers.

Jeff is on the Board of Trustees of the Walnut Hill School, an arts high school that is a feeder to Julliard, the New England Conservatory, the Boston Ballet, and other top arts institutions.

@jeflowers

Executive Vice President, COO

Marty Falaro

Marty leads all global revenue generating roles including sales, channels and alliances. In addition, Marty works with engineering, operations, product management and customer support as a single unified team focused on building, managing, selling and supporting our world class cloud storage service.

Marty brings 25+ years of customer-facing experience in sales and business development to this world class team. He has been fortunate to be a part of some great companies from early stage start-ups, to rapidly growing midsize companies, to top 5 technology industry titans. In his career, he has held leadership roles at Lotus (now IBM), PictureTel (now Polycom), and Cisco. Most recently, Marty served as the SVP of sales & business development for Skreens (a video start-up based near Boston). Over the prior 10 years, he held leadership sales & business development roles at Oracle, Acme Packet, and Covergence.

Customers and partners love the simplicity of paying for only the storage that they consume with no vendor lock-in and no hidden charges. The Wasabi team is working to deliver this innovative storage service to thousands of customers and partners worldwide through our continued growth.

Marty and his family live near the ocean south of Boston where he enjoys golf, walking to the picturesque harbor and relaxing on one of the many beautiful nearby town beaches.

@martyfalaro

Chief Financial Officer

Michael Bayer

Michael joined the Wasabi team after spending 25+ years in various finance, operations, technology and business development roles primarily for venture-backed technology and clean tech companies. His most recent role was at iZotope Inc. where he served as the CFO. Prior to that he managed the IPO for MotherNature.com and acquisitions for LightChip and Revivio. Michael co-founded RPM Communications, where he led the launch of a 100,000 user mobile social network. A chartered financial analyst, Michael is on the Steering Committee of The CFO Leadership Council and a frequent speaker and organizer of panels for CFOs. He was honored as a 2018 BBJ CFO of the Year.

As an adjunct lecturer at Babson College, Michael teaches corporate finance to both graduate and undergraduate students. Michael holds an MBA from Cornell University and a BS from Babson College (finance and investments), and he previously studied computer science and economics at Brandeis University.

“The explosion of machine learning and artificial intelligence will be built on big data, and the promise of progress on all these fronts will be fueled by cost effective, ubiquitous high performance storage. Wasabi is leading the delivery of cloud storage to meet these needs, and I’m excited to be a part of this incredible team.”

@mlbayer

Chief Marketing Officer

Michael Welts

Michael brings 25+ years of experience building brands across a wide spectrum of technology companies, ranging from venture-backed start-ups to publicly-traded global technology leaders. He has served in executive roles for companies at all stages of growth from seed/pre-revenue to hyper-growth, to IPO and turnaround. Most recently, Michael led marketing at Google-venture backed startup Plexxi. Michael founded Cabletron’s marketing organization in the early stages of the company and led the company’s marketing and brand growth to $1.5 billion in revenue. He followed up as the head of Bay Network’s corporate marketing efforts in its successful turnaround and $7+ billion acquisition by Northern Telecom. Michael joined start-up Castle Networks in pioneering the VOIP switch category, resulting in a record-setting acquisition by Siemens. Among other stints at several startups, Michael served as CEO at NextChoice Systems, a pioneering company in the online food ordering industry, and as a co-founder in Ping4, the leading safety alert mobile app company.

Michael is a co-founder or advisor/investor of several other fast-growth startups and serves as a mentor to technology entrepreneurs.

“There is a definite sense of urgency to migrating to the cloud now. Pre-2020, roughly 25% of businesses had migrated to the cloud and most of that was in the compute or application side of the business. Far less was in cloud data storage. Wasabi’s disruptive price/performance model makes it simple, predictable and affordable for businesses to make the move. For our company, the opportunity is limitless”.

Michael is a dedicated Pelotonian and enjoys spending time with his family playing beach volleyball, traveling, hiking and skiing in VT.

@michaelwelts

Senior Vice President, Product

Jim Donovan

Jim leads Wasabi’s product management, sales engineering, and customer support efforts. As a veteran of multiple startups and large enterprise organizations, Jim has deep experience in developing, delivering, and supporting products and services that provide security, scalability, and reliability to customers and partners. Prior to Wasabi, Jim served in product management and sales/support engineering roles at Oracle (via Acme Packet and Covergence), Ciena (via WaveSmith Networks), Lucent Technologies (via Ascend Communications and Cascade Communications) and GTE. Jim holds a BSEE from Northeastern University and an MBA from Babson College.

“The growth of storage needs in all industry verticals is a tremendous opportunity that is driving Wasabi’s success. With our innovative file system architecture and world-class product development and customer success team, Wasabi is in a unique position to be a true disruptor in cloud storage economics and performance.”

Outside of Wasabi, Jim tries (usually unsuccessfully) to improve his tennis and basketball games as well as driving / fixing (typically the latter) old Volkswagen buses.

@donovanjim1

Senior Vice President, Engineering and Operations

Pramod Kalyanasundaram

Pramod leads Engineering and Operations at Wasabi, responsible for delivering products and solutions. Pramod brings 25+ years of experience in a variety of domains including Telecom, Networking, Media, IoT, Cloud and SaaS software. Prior to Wasabi, Pramod led the engineering team at Spirent Communications, a leader in test and measurement products for the Cloud & IP business. Earlier, Pramod served as the Chief Technology Officer for the Consumer and Fleet Solutions at Verizon Connect. During his tenure at Verizon, Pramod led global teams that successfully deployed platforms for IoT (Thingspace) and Internet Services servicing millions of customers, FiOS Mobile App to become the mobile first experience for FiOS users, and delivered Hum, a successful, direct to consumer SaaS product. Pramod was part of the core team at Center for Development of Telematics (CDOT), India, which transformed the Indian telecom infrastructure through a suite of telecom products. He has also been part of several successful startups including Ignitus Communications acquired by Lucent Technologies and the founding VP of Engineering at Camiant acquired by Tekelec (Oracle).

Pramod has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Delaware and a BSEE from University of Madras. He has eight issued patents. Pramod’s interests include travel, photography, and mentoring early-stage companies.

@pkatwork

 

Leadership Team

Vice President, Partner & International Marketing

Laurie Mitchell

Laurie is an experienced partner marketing leader with a 20+ year track record of launching and scaling channel programs and partner ecosystems at high growth startups such as Excel Switching (later acquired by Lucent Technologies), Acme Packet (later acquired by Oracle) and Axeda (later acquired by PTC) as well as most recently driving the evolution of the PTC Partner Network. Laurie’s experience boasts a wide gamut of go-to-market models including OEM, resale, managed services, two tier distribution, and co-marketing with alliance partners. As a seasoned partnership professional she is passionate about the value of win-win relationships with partners that drive value, and ultimately scale their respective businesses in a way they couldn’t do alone.

At Wasabi Laurie is driving the launch and growth of the Wasabi Partner Network including marketing to, with and through partners including MSPs, VARs, Distributors and Technology Alliances who integrate or bundle Wasabi with their solutions.

Laurie is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and outside of the office enjoys travel, cooking, biking and spending time with her husband and twin daughters.

@lcoppola

Vice President, North America Sales

Sue Nolin

Sue brings 20 years of sales and sales operations experience to Wasabi. Her Account Executive and Inside Sales teams manage relationships with Wasabi’s fast-growing channel partners and customers. Her focus has been on influencing the rapid growth of emerging technologies, managing inside sales teams at early-stage startup companies, and helping those companies transition into large enterprise solutions. Some of those solutions included VPN technology at Altiga Networks (now Cisco Systems), RFID IoT technology at ThingMagic (now JADAK), and 802.11 wireless networking at Colubris Networks (now HPE).

Sue holds a bachelor degree in English from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

@suenolin

Vice President, Operations

Vin Antarkar

Vin brings in 25+ years of experience in Engineering and Operations. At Wasabi, he is responsible for all of Wasabi’s global data centers. He has held leadership roles in early stage start ups, including the one he co-founded, as well as Fortune 500 companies. Before joining Wasabi, Vin was part of Verizon where he headed the System Resiliency Engineering and Technical support teams.

Vin is passionate about traveling and loves to explore parts of the world. He loves hiking, biking and Tennis.

@vin-antarkar

Vice President, Emerging Technology

Kurt Bertone

Kurt has 25+ years of experience in a wide range of technical and business roles including development engineering, product management, business development, and strategic alliances in high-growth startups, large companies, and startups that became large companies. His previous roles include CTO of Arete Advisors, SVP of Products and CTO of Fidelis Cybersecurity, VP of Product Management at Covergence, and VP and CTO of Nortel Networks EMEA.

Kurt started his career at AT&T Bell Laboratories as a processor designer. He has a Master’s degree in Computer, Information and Control Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Brown University. He is the primary author of two patents in the area of network security.

Kurt lives in southern New Hampshire and enjoys hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing.

@kurt-bertone

Vice President, EMEA Sales

Richard Czech

Richard has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and a key executive in the storage industry and has been serving with Wasabi since 2018. Previously, Richard was in an international Sales Executive position in Europe for DataXion, the largest tier 3 data center in Africa. He served as Chief Executive Officer of LightSand Communications, Inc, where he created strong business relationships with OEMs and large storage vendors. Prior to LightSand, he served as Vice President of Technology, Europe of ADIC (Nasdaq: ADIC). He founded and served as President for Chevry Inc., a successful backup software company based in Calabasas, CA and Paris, France.

Richard holds an Engineering degree from the French National Engineering School in Telecommunications, Automation and Electronics.

Vice President, Quality Assurance

Mark Irivinti

Mark leads the quality assurance and technical documentation teams at Wasabi. As a proven technical professional and a leader with over 25 years of experience in various technologies, Mark has expertise in building and leading diverse teams across the globe that provide manual testing and automation of several areas such as, cloud storage, networking technologies, active and passive monitoring of fixed and mobile networks, big data analytics, network security, threat detection and mitigation, deep packet inspection, and more. Prior to Wasabi, Mark led QA teams at Empirix, Arbor Networks, Quantum Bridge Communications, and Juniper Networks. Mark brings several years of experience in senior management roles devoted to off-shore QA operations, reengineering business processes and process mapping in several industry verticals.

Mark holds an M.S. degree in Computer Engineering from Villanova University, PA and a B.S. (Honors) degree in EEE from NITT, University of Madras, India.

@mirivinti

Vice President, APAC & Managing Director of Japan

Kaz Kuroda

As Vice President of Asia-Pacific and Managing Director of Japan, Kaz Kuroda is responsible for overall business in Asia-Pacific and accelerating the digital transformation journeys of our customers and partners with Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage Service.

An IT industry veteran of over 20 years of expertise in management, sales and channel/business development in Asia-Pacific brings a tremendous asset to Wasabi Technologies that’s committed to further growing its global footprint.

Before joining Wasabi Technologies, he was a Managing Director of Asia Pacific at 128Technology, acquired by Juniper Networks in 2020, in Asia-Pacific to lead sales, channel and alliances, and system engineering. Prior to that, he served as a Division Director for the Communications Global Business Unit of Oracle Corporation in Japan where he was responsible for the strategic and operational leadership. Here Kaz led the business unit in Japan, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Middle East and Africa.

Kaz graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a BA in Economics and a minor in Sociology and also attended the Wharton`s Executive Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He currently lives in Tokyo with his wife, son and tiny poodle.

@kazkuroda

Vice President, Media & Entertainment Sales

Whit Jackson

Whit Jackson has worked at the forefront of innovation in television production and distribution for 25+ years. After serving in a variety of roles for several cable TV MSOs, Whit joined Hughes Communications and managed sales of Galaxy satellite services to television and radio broadcasters while also contributing to business planning and programmer sales for DirecTV. At Macrovision (later Rovi), Whit led business units focused on video distribution security and music copy protection through the company’s successful IPO.

Whit later served as VP of Business Development at SecureMedia, a pioneer in Digital Rights Management, and worked with the Hollywood studios and leading broadcasters on digital distribution security strategy and policy. Following the acquisition of SecureMedia by Motorola, Whit was a key member of the team driving the company’s multiscreen video initiative and later directed business development for the ARRIS/Motorola AI-powered, video analysis and metadata service.

Today, Whit is building out Wasabi’s technology partner ecosystem and driving the adoption of the company’s hot cloud storage service in the Media & Entertainment sector.

Whit holds both an MBA and an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University.

@whitjackson

Board of Directors and Advisors

The worldwide cloud storage market is nearly infinite in size, and we intend to keep our foot to the floor. We are a group of entrepreneurial enthusiasts with similar management styles and a desire to quickly scale the Wasabi business with the ultimate goal of building an infrastructure designed to support and store all the world’s data.

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