I heard through the grapevine last week, and confirmed yesterday, that Diane Gibson has joined Cray in a strategy role. Diane was formerly SVP for Operations at SGI, and handled a bunch of the bankruptcy “stuff” for them; before that she was CIO there. She has been at Cray in the past, so this is something of a homecoming for her. Nick Davis at Cray had this to say about Diane’s new role
Diane joined Cray on November 19th and she is our Vice President of Strategy and Planning for the Custom Engineering group. Diane will focus on (amongst other things) identification and analysis of CE peer companies; analysis of the CE market and our focus segments; and identifying CE partnership targets.
We’ve talked about Cray’s CE business before, most recently in an exclusive interview I did with Cray CEO Pete Ungaro about the practicalities of making money at the high end of HPC. Part of his strategy to diversify his income base is the custom engineering group, which has been successful so far
Custom engineering, on the other hand, is a different story. The custom engineering business was announced by Cray back in April of this year, headed up by previous services head Chuck Morreale. The idea behind the business was simple: Cray has a lot of smart people who have solved incredibly challenging problems in bringing large scale supercomputers to market. Why couldn’t they sell those smarts to others as a service?
The idea has been well-received. “Custom engineering has grown to a $30+M business from $0 in just over one year,” according to Ungaro.