Our Executive
Leadership Team

Meet the tech-veterans supporting your hybrid IT success

Kash Shaikh, President and CEO – LinkedIn

Kash Shaikh is President, Chief Executive Officer, and member Board of Directors at Virtana. He has more than 25 years of experience in the data center and the cloud industry. Kash has a track record of improving results in small and large fortune 100 public companies by making necessary strategic calls to drive profitable organic and inorganic growth.

Prior to Virtana, Shaikh was Global Vice President and General Manager of Solutions business at Dell Technologies, which included technology partner alliances. Under his leadership, this Solutions business grew by 28% to $1.77B. Before Dell, Shaikh held executive and leadership roles at public companies, including Ruckus Wireless, Riverbed Technologies, Hewlett Packard, Cisco, and Nortel Networks. Kash also serves as a Board Member of Ignited, a non-profit that provides learning opportunities around STEM for teachers.

Kash holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from NED University, a master’s in Electrical Engineering from Wichita State University, and an MBA from Boise State University.

Connect with Shaikh for real-time industry insight on LinkedIn and Twitter. 

Marion Smith, CFO – LinkedIn  

Marion joined Virtana as CFO, with over 20 years of senior management and start-up experience, serving in executive roles from early stage through exit, including IPO and acquisitions. He has a passion for high-growth, disruptive, technology-driven ventures, and has held key leadership roles in seven startups. Marion’s successful track record includes his contributions to strong leadership teams, focused on effective business management and enterprise growth. 

Marion most recently served as CFO for Hazelcast, successfully raising over $50M in equity and debt, while building out a full business team. He joined Hazelcast from Pulse Secure where he served as VP & GM of the company’s vADC Business Unit, overseeing all aspects of strategy, execution, and GTM with P&L responsibility for the company’s global vADC business.  

Marion’s leadership has enhanced the success of Brocade Communications, Renewvia Energy, Micron Misting, and e-lingo. He was also part of the founding team at internet pioneer Inktomi, helping build the company from start-up to one of the most successful IPOs of the late 90’s. Marion holds a BS in Economics from Georgia State University and serves in advisory roles at several tech companies. 


John Gentry, CTOLinkedIn 

As CTO & SVP of Business Development, John is responsible for being the voice of the customer and understanding the key IT industry trends that affect product strategy and strategic alliances. John brings over 20 years of IT industry experience and has held a number of senior level sales, sales engineering and marketing positions at industry leaders such as Qlogic, McData, CNT and Borland. John was a double major in Economics and Sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz.  


Michelle Padron, VP of Human Resources – LinkedIn 

Michelle is a multi-faceted HR professional with over 20 years of experience developing people programs. As VP of Human Resources for Virtana, she is passionate about fostering an environment where team members are heard and valued. Michelle has a practical, partner-centric approach to finding solutions that align with the company culture. Her toolbox includes talent development and management, total rewards and HR business partner work – including acquisitions, mergers, and divestitures. She has cultivated these skills while working in the semiconductor, networking, and cloud technology industries for companies including Marvell, Brocade Communications, and Altera.


Erich Elit, VP of WW Sales LinkedIn

Erich Elit is a high performing information technology executive with a proven track record leading highly effective and successful sales teams. With over 25 years of experience, spanning large global enterprises to technology start-ups, he focuses on driving exceptional customer experiences and outcomes while consistently delivering business results. 

Erich is currently the VP of Worldwide Sales for Virtana. For the last 11 years he has driven sales and new customer acquisition for the hybrid IT leader. His scope has ranged from territory and regional levels to the worldwide markets including sales, channel, and solutions consulting in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific. During his role as RVP of Central Region Sales, his team took top honors three years running by overachieving sales and new customer goals. 

Prior to Virtana, Erich held leadership roles at Brocade Communication, McData and CNT where he leveraged his deep data center operations knowledge to help drive new solutions and innovations with IBM Global Services and many others while successfully merging teams through three acquisitions. 

Erich lives in Colorado with his wife Mendie and has 6 grown children. When not juggling the work-life balance, you will likely find him on a remote trail deep in mountains riding off-road motorcycles.


Rick HaggartSVP, Professional Services – LinkedIn

I’ve enjoyed 20+ years within professional services from customer success to consulting, service delivery to customer training. I am wholeheartedly committed to customer delivery excellence, deep functional and technical product knowledge, collaboration across the organization, with an entrepreneurial focus on creating new capabilities, and developing world-class skills within the organization. I founded Perfect Places, pioneering the online booking of vacation rentals before it was acquired by RedAwning in 2015.

Prior to founding Perfect Places, I was a Partner at Accenture in the Communications and High Tech practice where I worked from 1989 to 2004. I led the global Internet Center of Excellence in Palo Alto and provided management and IT consulting services for many high tech companies including BEA Systems, HP, Intel and Sony. I began my career as an electrical engineer for Boeing in Seattle, WA from 1986 to 1989, putting my degree in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University to good use. I believe it was this role that kick-started my love for meticulous delivery of excellence, both for the organizations I lead and the customers we support. 


Randy Randhawa, SVP Engineering – LinkedIn 

Satyajeet (Randy) Randhawa is Senior Vice President of Product Development & Support at Virtana. He leads all aspects of development, testing, devops, support and cloud operations for Virtana’s products. During this role, Randy created a new engineering process and organizational structure to decouple development from product delivery, supporting flexible consumption as an appliance, enterprise software, or SaaS.  

Over the past two years, Randy has worked closely with both customers and field teams to prioritize features, define the roadmap, and incubate a new product for hybrid infrastructure optimization, focused on cloud migration and asset management. Prior to joining Virtana, Randy was Co-Founder and Vice President of Engineering at Lumina Networks where he worked with leading service providers to build network automation and orchestration. Randy has also held engineering and leadership positions at Brocade Communications, Cisco Systems, Intel, Sun Microsystems, Resilience Corp and Rainfinity. Randy is a seasoned technology and business leader with more than 20 years of experience building and scaling teams, and a strong belief in team empowerment and leading by example.