Artifact Details


Pawlowski, Brian interview : NetApp

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Brian Pawlowski is a Silicon Valley engineer who spent 21 years at NetApp, a local company founded in 1992. Brian joined NetApp in 1994 as employee #18. Although he previously worked for other local companies, including Sun and National, this oral history is devoted to his time at NetApp (originally Network Appliances, Inc).
Brian started as an individual contributor working to improve the performance of NetApps storage product. He rose through the ranks, taking on a variety of projects where he thought he could make a real contribution. These included heading up customer service and taking on new, sometimes unpopular, development programs. Eventually he was named Chief Technology Officer, CTO, but when he saw that NetApp was threatened by the rapid growth of all-flash storage solutions, he volunteered to build an independent team to focus on this new product area.
He describes the challenges of building an independent team within the company to go afte a new product category, and eventually the great success of the team when they shipped the “FlashRay” product. He was highly motivated by the ability to create and ship a product which solved real customer problems.
Brian spends a liberal amount of time describing the very positive culture at NetApp which has been an important reason for its nomination as being one of the best places to work in the nation. He describes the openness of the leadership team, the strong sense of teamwork ,and the focus on customer satisfaction as three of the key elements of the positive corporate culture.




Hancock, Marguerite Gong, Interviewer
Pawlowski, Brian, Interviewee


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, California





Copyright Holder

Computer History Museum



Collection Title

CHM Oral history collection

Series Title

Silicon Valley 360 : NetApp


Computer History Museum

Lot Number


Related Records

102737956 Pawlowski, Brian interview : NetApp