Panasas Appoints Ken Claffey CEO, Shea to Remain as COO

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Ken Claffey

SAN JOSE, September 6, 2023 – High performance data storage vendor Panasas has announced that Ken Claffey, former SVP/GM of Enterprise Systems at Seage Technology, has been named CEO. Claffey replaces Tom Shea, who will remain on the Panasas executive leadership team as chief operating officer.

Claffey joined Seagate nearly 10 years ago and was named senior vice president of that company in November 2020. Shea, meanwhile, has been with Panasas for nearly nine years, he was named CEO two years ago this month after serving as COO starting in 2014.

“We made the decision to bring Ken in as CEO because we believe Panasas is well-positioned to build on its success over the last few years as it has moved to a software-defined architecture, increased its revenues, and is now ready to take a step function in its growth and scale,” said Andre A. Hakkak, CEO, White Oak Global Advisors, LLC.

In its announcement, Panasas said White Oak Global Advisors, LLC has also committed significant incremental funding for the company.

Panasas, a long-time player in HPC storage, was founded in 1999, offers the PanFS parallel file system and ActiveStor as its flagship products, they are designed to combine ease of management with extreme performance, scalability and security for data-intensive workloads. The company lists Boeing, P&G, NIO electric vehicles, TGS energy exploration, National Institute of Health, Siemens, Harvard Medical School and NASA among its customer.

“I am honored to join Panasas at this exciting juncture,” said Ken Claffey. “The company’s unique core parallel file system data storage technology is central to enabling the secular growth of HPC and AI. These areas are driving the increasing need for the performance, scalability, and ease of use that is uniquely inherent to the Panasas PanFS software platform. I am committed to capitalizing on this momentum by spearheading a strategic agenda that improves software portability and enhances performance and ecosystem integration to fuel revenue growth. I am confident that Panasas will emerge as a preeminent leader in the HPC and AI storage realm.”

Tom Shea

The convergence of AI and HPC is driving significant change across all elements of HPC infrastructure, including the role and capabilities of parallel file systems. As Mark Nossokoff, Research Director at Hyperion Research explains, “The demands of modern AI and HPC workloads, including massive data requirements, high throughput, scalability, and concurrent access, are stressing traditional parallel file systems to their limits. File systems play a pivotal role within the overall HPC storage architecture to address those requirements to reliably and securely accelerate the time to results of the critical scientific research and advanced engineering work being performed on the systems.”