Press Release
Feb 2, 2021

VAST Data Readies for Next Stage of Growth, Strengthens Executive Team with New Leaders in Finance, Sales & Customer Success

Helen Protopapas, Tom Whaley and Rick Franke to further round out customer-focused global expansion


NEW YORK – February 2, 2021 VAST Data, the storage company breaking decades-old tradeoffs, today announced the appointment of three industry leaders to its executive team. VAST is hiring Helen Protopapas as Vice President of Finance, Tom Whaley as Vice President of Sales, and Rick Franke as Vice President of Global Customer Success, Services and Support. The additions come amid accelerated global expansion and customer adoption as the company continues its period of hypergrowth.

As Vice President of Finance, Protopapas will oversee efforts to further solidify VAST’s financial underpinnings as it prepares for the next major step in the global development of the company. Protopapas previously served as divisional CFO of Ringier Group where she was responsible for all aspects of financial planning and reporting for the Group´s technology and marketplaces division as the company eclipsed a $1 billion valuation at a time of tremendous growth. Protopapas holds experience working in M&A and private equity and has extensive background working in international markets.

Whaley, Vice President of Sales, will lead VAST’s efforts as the company continues to ramp up customer adoption. Most recently, Whaley presided over a team that transacted more than $400 million in annual business at NetApp, where he oversaw a global sales effort. Whaley brings over 20 years of experience focusing on Fortune 50 customers from the service provider, telecommunications, media and entertainment, oil and gas, and retail verticals. He has a proven background in guiding global sales strategy and execution centered around customers’ changing business and technical needs and has a track record of delivering consistent year-over-year revenue growth.

Serving as Vice President of Global Customer Success, Services and Support, Franke will be tasked with bolstering VAST’s superior customer experience on a global level. Franke joins VAST after having served as the VP of Global Customer Services and Support at VMware, where he oversaw customer services and support operations. He joined VMware via its AirWatch acquisition in 2014. At AirWatch, he led the company’s global sales engineering, services, support and cloud reliability engineering teams from the early days through to the acquisition. Franke brings more than 20 years of experience in global, enterprise-level client relations and operations to VAST.

2020 revealed a tremendous global demand for VAST’s revolutionary Universal Storage platform,” said Renen Hallak, Founder and CEO of VAST Data. “We are excited to welcome Helen, Tom and Rick into leadership roles that will help elevate VAST to further capture the market opportunity in front of us. The addition of these ambitious and industrious leaders will further evolve and complement our team and our culture as we ready the company for the next decade of Universal Storage adoption.