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Daniel J. Warmenhoven, Network Appliance

The Top 25 Managers -- Managers to Watch

Daniel J. Warmenhoven, Network Appliance

Daniel J. Warmenhoven, the chief executive of eight-year-old Network Appliance Inc. (NTAP), may be reprising the role of John Chambers. A decade ago Chambers' Cisco Systems Corp. (CSCO) began beating up on IBM (IBM) with faster, cheaper ways to tie computers together. Now, Warmenhoven is poised for a similar run against mighty rival EMC Corp. (EMC) A veteran of IBM himself and also Hewlett-Packard Co. (HWP), Warmenhoven, 50, is brilliantly executing a strategy to exploit a more cost-

effective way to store and distribute computer files. While EMC sells $1 million-plus, mainframe-style products that store files and Net traffic, NetApp makes under-$200,000 devices for particular storage jobs--say, caching Net content. Under Warmenhoven's leadership, NetApp has posted 20 straight quarters of 70%-plus growth. "We kick their butt all the time," he says. For its part, EMC says it'll overtake NetApp in its core market by 2002.

Warmenhoven's strength is coupling Net-style hypergrowth with old-school business discipline. He has religiously invested in sales to capture more of the booming storage business. Says Merrill Lynch & Co. analyst Steve Milunovich: "He's not some dot-com guy, going for the short term. He's building for the long term." And that may be a problem for EMC.Return to top


Key Accomplishments

-- Though shares were hammered in recent tech sell-off, stock was still up 50% for 2000

-- Expanded in two directions, with new higher-capacity gear to go head-to-head with EMC and smaller machines used to cache Net traffic around the globeReturn to top

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