The superlatives about cloudy storage vendor Rubrik just keep coming and coming. Since its founding, only a few years ago, the company has grown massively – it now boasts over 1,200 employees across six continents and has raised an absolute boatload of cash. On top of that, it has really struck it rich with customer growth and earlier this year announced bookings run rate of $300 million.

Rubrik has also made big moves on the people front. I was impressed when they lured friend and well-respected storage analysts Chris Wahl onto the team. That hire has been well and truly eclipsed (sorry, Chris) with recent hires including Murray Demo (formerly of Atlassian) as CFO, Peter McGoff as Chief Legal Officer (Box), Jeff Vijungco as Chief People Officer (Adobe) and Shay Mowlem as SVP of Product & Strategy. (Mulesoft). On top of that, and indicating some confidence from some very well-respected players, Rubrik also recently added Microsoft Chairman John W. Thompson to its Board of Directors.

The company is backing that up today with another couple of big personnel-related announcements

No more holograms for John Chambers’, he is in with Rubrik for reals

First up is the announcement that none other than former CEO (and current Chairman Emeritus) of Cisco, John Chambers has personally invested in the company and is joining as a board adviser. During his legendary 25-year tenure at Cisco, Chambers helped grow the company from $70 million to $47 billion when he stepped down as CEO in 2015. He also famously took the stage at one Cisco Live conference delivering the keynote via hologram.

In his physical being, Chambers has received numerous awards for his leadership, including being named by Harvard Business Review as one of the “Best-Performing CEOs in the World” and receiving the Edison Achievement Award for Innovation in 2016. In January 2018, Chambers launched the somewhat egoistically named JC2 Ventures to invest in companies across categories and geographies that are leading market transitions.

Somewhat stating the obvious, Chambers waxes poetic about what Rubrik is doing, saying:

The shift to Cloud has been one of the most disruptive market transitions of the Digital Age, impacting the entire technology industry. In just four years, Rubrik has gone from a startup to an industry leader in helping enterprises tackle the challenges of managing and using their data in the Cloud era. When I talk to Rubrik CEO Bipul Sinha about his vision for growing and scaling Rubrik, I have no doubt that the company is on its way to becoming a multibillion dollar business.

And another defector from a challenged vendor

As well as Chambers, Rubrik is announcing that Avon Puri, former VMware Vice President of Business Applications, has been appointed Chief Information Officer (CIO). In that role, he was tasked with bringing nimble and agile delivery (no, that wasn’t a joke) to the virtualization mega-vendor. Before VMware, he held leadership positions with Franklin Templeton Investments and Deloitte.

Proving his ability to roll out all the requisite buzzwords, of his new gig, Puri said that:

Digital transformation initiatives create new opportunities and challenges, such as the adoption of a multi-cloud model and massive data proliferation across environments. CIOs need infrastructure flexibility and a comprehensive platform that can manage all of their data, no matter where it resides. Rubrik has redefined the data protection industry and shifted the perception of what’s possible.


The Chambers appointment, in particular, is big news. People of Chambers’ credibility don’t anoint companies that aren’t very close to having their massive breakout moment. Indeed, I’ve long suggested that Rubrik would be getting close to announcing their IPO. Their growth is phenomenal and they are positioning themselves – in terms of customers, employee growth, global presence and high-profile names – and one of the hottest IPOs to come. Watch this space.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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