Former Cisco channel chief becomes Rubrik’s new CCO

Rubrik has hired itself a new channel-focused executive.

Wendy Bahr, Cisco Systems’ former channel chief, became Rubrik’s new chief commercial officer last week, joining John Chambers, former Cisco CEO, who invested an undisclosed amount in Rubrik last August and became a board advisor for the cloud data management company.

After her departure from the networking giant last summer, she picked up the phone and called Chambers. The two reminisced about their time together at Cisco, she said, and discussed the state of the technology industry today.

“At Cisco he taught us that when the market has been legacy for a while and there’s a chance to disrupt it with innovative technology, it opens up brilliant opportunities,” she said.

Shortly after, Chambers introduced her to Rubrik CEO Bipul Sinha. The rest is history.

There is a strong demand for end-to-end security and management capabilities across the entire IT ecosystem, indicated Bahr, but customers don’t want to deal with multiple vendors to get there. Rubrik provides enterprise data management and backup services across cloud, on-premises and hybrid networks, and is one of the more successful enterprise startups in recent years. In January, the company announced it had raised $261 million in funding at $3.3 billion valuation from various investors, bringing the total amount raised to $553 million. In 2017, Rubrik was valued at $1.3 billion.

“Rubrik is absolutely positively disrupting a $48 billion data management market, which is one of the largest opportunities in the enterprise today,” she said, attributing Rubrik’s success to its ability to adapt to today’s rapid pace of innovation, as well as its vast engineering talent.

When asked why incumbents don’t adapt to changes as fast as Rubrik, Sinha told Forbes, “When we got started, we had a new architecture to handle this and incumbents ignored us. They saw our growth and are trying to put multiple protocols in a box. But to really compete they need to start from scratch which would kill their existing revenue stream.”

Rubrik has caught the attention of Canadian channel partners, too. Kent MacDonald, senior vice-president of strategic alliances for Long View Systems, told CDN that Rubrik is already a platform that offers tremendous flexibility for partners and customers in the crowded data management space. Introducing a channel-focused executive to the roster makes Rubrik that much more attractive.

“She’s someone you can have a frank conversation with,” he said, adding Long View’s relationship with Bahr dates back 13 years. “Wendy has proven that she can not only listen to what partners have to say, but actually accelerate those partner conversations and respond to their needs.”

MacDonald said Long View currently sells Rubrik solutions, but hasn’t formed an official partnership with the company. Those opportunities, however, are being explored.

Bahr said Scalar Decisions, Onx Enterprise Solutions and Softchoice are some of the other Canadian partners working with Rubrik. She noted Rubrik’s integration with Microsoft Azure is also good news for the many partners currently wrapping their own services around the Microsoft brand.

“The Canadian channel is booming,” she said. “I’m really excited to be back in the channel.”

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Alex Coop
Alex Coop
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

Related Tech News

Featured Tech Jobs


CDN in your inbox

CDN delivers a critical analysis of the competitive landscape detailing both the challenges and opportunities facing solution providers. CDN's email newsletter details the most important news and commentary from the channel.