December Top 50 #CloudInfluence Individuals

Final individual report for 2015:

Unlike our monthly #CloudInfluence ranking for organisation which has featured the same handful of top cloud firms in the top ten each month, the #CloudInfluence ranking for individuals has been far more fluid, with fewer regulars and far more change month on month.

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End of year honours go to George Kurian CEO of Netapp who’s profile was given a boost at the end of the year in part due to the firm’s announcement that it intended to acquire SolidFire for $870 million, but also in part due to an unfortunate 14% drop in the firm’s share price over the month of December as a result.

Two of the most consistent performers over the year have been Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (in 4th this month) and FBR Capital Markets Analyst Daniel Ives (in 6th this month). Nadella has led Microsoft’s transformation into one of the leading cloud players, while Ives is the go to source of comment for many of the US networks on the performance, strategy and results of many of the big tech firms.

Climbing the rankings to enter the top three in December were Aaron Levie, Box’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, in 2nd who has been promoting the firm’s collaboration with Sales Force along with Marc Benioff in 21st, while Larry Johnson in 3rd has been busy promoting the Cloud Awards that he organises.

individuals decOracle executive were also active with Mark Hurd in 5th, Safra Catz in 16th and Larry Ellison in 25th, all seeking to position Oracle as the main challenger to AWS as the database vendor embarks on a massive and ambitious transformation into a public cloud vendor. We will be exploring the prospects for Oracle in a forthcoming blog.

George Kurian at Netapp and Satya Nadella at Microsoft are CEO’s that are also their firm’s main cloud spokesperson or evangelist. Other CEO’s of large firms that often appear high in the rankings are Oracle’s Mark Hurd given Oracle’s big cloud push and Marc Benioff of Salesforce which is totally cloud focused.

Indeed the top evangelists for Microsoft in December, aside from Satya Nadella in 4th, were Nicole Herskowitz in 7th and Scott Guthrie in 20th all helping the firm reach number one in the organisation ranking. Steve Ballmer also appeared in 22nd . Conversely few executives from rivals AWS, Google and IBM appeared in the December rankings and their CEOs appear intermittently if at all.

Google CEO Pichai Sundararajan, better known as Sundar Pichai, hasn’t appeared in any of our monthly rankings and neither have Larry Page CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet or co-founder Sergey Brin. All three are far more heavily identified with Google’s other activities like search and advertising rather than cloud. Maybe

Meanwhile Jeff Bezos CEO of Amazon and Ginni Rometty CEO of IBM may talk about cloud more often, but only tend to appear in the rankings every third month when their quarterly results are announced. Instead Andy Jassy SVP of Amazon Web Services at often appears, as does Robert LeBlanc SVP of IBM Cloud.

Recent changes may impact this – Google has recently appointed VMware cofounder Diane Greene to run its cloud business. At the same time while Lance Crosby may have been about the last of the SoftLayer leadership team to leave IBM last January, the more recent departure of 18 year veteran Danny Sabbah, IBM’s cloud CTO may be a more significant loss.


Other notable appearances this month include:

  • In 8th Meg Whitman now running only half of her former empire – the HP Enterprise part.
  • In 10th Gary Shapiro of the Consumer Electronics Association as the world gears up for CES 2016.
  • In 22nd Kim Hammonds CIO Deutsche Bank evangelising about cloud as an increasingly important focus for the fintech sector.


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NOTE: the Compare the Cloud #CloudInfluence league tables, are based on a broad big data analysis of all major global news, blogs, forums, and social media interaction over the past 90 days. The league tables provide a snapshot taken at a particular point of time of the respective influence of both organisations and individuals over the last quarter. Companies that were particularly active in the given period will feature more prominently.

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