Cologix CEO Fathers Hires Fellow VMware Alumni to Key Executive Roles

Cologix’s recently appointed CEO Bill Fathers has hired two fellow VMware alumni to key executive roles•Laura Ortman has left Equinix to join Cologix as chief revenue officer, and Dawn Smith left McAfee to become the data center provider’s COO•Both used to work at VMware, when Fathers led its previous unsuccessful attempt to become a cloud provider

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

November 7, 2018

2 Min Read
A Cologix data center in Toronto
A Cologix data center in TorontoCologix

After taking the helm of Cologix as CEO in June, Bill Fathers, VMware’s former cloud chief, appears to have quickly moved to hire other VMware alumni for key roles on the data center provider’s management team.

Two of Fathers’ former VMware colleagues joined Cologix in August, according to their LinkedIn profiles. The company, one of the top data center colocation and interconnection providers in secondary North American markets, formally announced the hires this Wednesday.

Laura Ortman, who most recently served as executive VP and chief customer officer at Equinix reporting to the CEO, joined Cologix as president and chief revenue officer. One of her responsibilities in the new role is roping in more business from hyperscale cloud platforms – a growing focus for data center providers across the board.

“In this role, Ortman will develop the strategic sales and revenue plan, focusing on deepening customer relationships and broadening the go-to-market strategy to include the fast-growing ecosystem of hyperscale cloud providers,” Cologix said in a statement.

Together, Ortman and Fathers led VMware’s previous foray into the cloud services market as a provider, an effort that eventually withered under competitive pressure from the likes of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. (VMware has since struck a close partnership with AWS, providing cloud services on its own platform out of AWS data centers, tightly integrated with Amazon’s public cloud.)

The second new hire, Dawn Smith, left her position as executive VP and chief legal officer at the cybersecurity software giant McAfee to join Cologix as chief operating officer. In addition to overseeing all legal, human resources, and administrative functions, Smith will support Cologix’s commercial strategy and merger and acquisition activity.

Smith served at VMware as senior VP, chief legal officer, chief compliance officer, and secretary of the board.

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