April 24, 2022
Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter. Today: An interview with NetApp CEO George Kurian on what he’s doing to diversify his leadership team, Salesforce’s new “pre-internship program” and why workers are boomeranging back to their old jobs.
Born in India and raised by a single mom, George Kurian’s path to leading a public tech company wasn’t an obvious one. He credits a lot of his success to some “wonderful sponsors,” including NetApp’s chairman of the board Mike Nevens, who “made me feel that I belonged at all the meetings I went to,” he told me.
Kurian’s been the CEO of NetApp since 2015 and has been at the cloud and data management company since 2011. (Fun fact: His brother Thomas Kurian is CEO of Google Cloud, making the two a veritable sibling power duo in the cloud computing world.)
He’s also one of 2,000 CEOs who have signed on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion coalition, pledging to advance DEI in their workplaces. Big tech has long struggled to retain and promote executives that aren’t, well, white men. So I spoke with Kurian about how he, as a CEO of a public cloud-computing company, reckons with his own role and responsibility in closing that retention and promotion gap.
The makeup of the NetApp leadership team is pretty representative of how most of Big Tech looks:
I asked Kurian to give some examples of programs and initiatives NetApp is trying out in service of the CEO Action pledge.
Have you ever heard of a “pre-internship?” My colleague Amber Burton wrote about Salesforce’s new Futureforce Tech Launchpad, a “pre-internship” program designed to recruit rising college juniors from underrepresented backgrounds. The goal: to upskill employees for technical roles two years before they even receive their undergrad degrees. It’s similar to a boot camp or apprenticeship, and the company is partnering with HBCUs and Hispanic-serving institutions to identify STEM students for the program.
The speed at which security has been built up over the last 12 months has been a derivative benefit of what we’ve seen during the pandemic. Privacy, compliance and security are three legs of the same stool. What we’re seeing increasingly is that intersection continuing to happen. RingCentral has invested in all those elements.
A new survey of 4,000 people across six countries, from UKG in partnership with Morning Consult, found that a surprising number of people are boomeranging back to the jobs they quit.
EV charging company Tritium appointed Keith Hutchison as chief people officer. Hutchison was previously chief HR & diversity officer for National Grid’s North America business.
AppLovin appointed Christina Seafort as chief people officer. Previously, she was Amazon’s head of HR for Global Mergers and Acquisitions.FanDuel appointed Tricia Alcamo as chief people officer. Previously, Alcamo was Spectrum Enterprise’s Group VP of HR.
Netflix grants options to its employees instead of restricted stock units. What does that mean when the stock plummets?
Amazon is investing $1 billion in supply chain innovation and worker safety.
The California State Assembly is challenging worker surveillance technologies.
Serena Williams is investing in a startup aimed at doubling the number of Black engineers in the U.S.
Engineers are job-hopping more than ever. It’s putting a strain on pay equity.
At RingCentral, we’re focused on making hybrid work simpler for organizations so they can best set up, run and manage their business. We’re asking ourselves what's the benefit that we can derive, or that we can enable, that is better than the best-in-class in the industry?
The best future of work headline we’ve seen in a while. (And the whole piece is worth reading too.)
The NLRB just ruled in favor of a group of Raven Software workers. They’re now eligible to participate in a union election.
Voting for the second Amazon union in Staten Island starts tomorrow.
Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great day, see you Tuesday.