Western Digital Hires 20 Year Dell EMC Veteran Ashley Gorakhpurwalla as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Its HDD Business

SAN JOSE, Calif. - October 28, 2020

Western Digital Corp. (Nasdaq: WDC) today announced that it has hired 20-year Dell Technologies veteran, Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, as executive vice president and general manager of Western Digital's HDD business unit. Most recently, Gorakhpurwalla was president and general manager of Servers and Infrastructure Systems at Dell EMC, where he led a $20 billion business that included the company's PowerEdge Server, Hyperconverged Infrastructure and Extreme Scale Infrastructure business units as well as research and development for its Storage and Data Protection Platform. In his new role leading Western Digital's HDD franchise, Gorakhpurwalla is responsible for all HDD portfolio strategy, product development and business results and will lead engineering and product management teams focused on delivering the company's HDD innovation.

"HDD innovation is critical to achieving the enormous storage capacity demands for the segment of the market that provides public cloud infrastructure through a development process that maintains disciplined line-of-sight on supporting an aggressive growth trajectory," said David Goeckeler, CEO, Western Digital. "Driving a data storage business focused on product development that consistently delivers industry-leading capacity with cost efficiency and scale requires a strong leader who has decades of technology expertise and a deep understanding of data center architectures. Ashley's background and proven track-record clearly exceeds this bar. His personal experience engaging directly with many of our important customer segments brings a fresh thought leadership perspective to the team and I'm confident he will make a positive impact on our long-term strategy."  

With almost 30 years of technology industry experience, Gorakhpurwalla spent the majority of his career at Dell Technologies in a variety of engineering and business leadership roles focused on complex data center infrastructure. Prior to leading Dell EMC's Server and Infrastructure Systems Business, he served as senior vice president of the company's PowerEdge engineering team. Gorakhpurwalla holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University - Kingsville.  

"Western Digital's customers are no longer just creating, processing and archiving their data. Now they have to manage it across clouds, analyze it in real-time and develop insights quicker and more efficiently than ever before," said Gorakhpurwalla.  "As our customers continue transforming to take advantage of the explosion of data and information, Western Digital's innovation, intellectual property and world-class engineering and manufacturing position the company at the very core of this transformation. My role at Western Digital gives me a new opportunity to continue my part in this exciting new era and I look forward to working with David and the team."  

Gorakhpurwalla's appointment marks the next step in Western Digital's ongoing implementation of its diversified storage portfolio strategy. Last month, the company announced it was forming separate product business units for its Flash and HDD technology assets with each business led by an experienced general manager. Rob Soderbery joined the company at that time to lead the Flash business unit. With both general managers now in place, the company continues making progress in driving an acceleration strategy designed for growth, profitability and development agility. By delivering both Flash and HDD market-leading innovation through highly focused product development organizations, the company can further leverage its strong go-to-market engine including deep customer relationships across web scale, channel partners, device manufacturers and retailers. This strategy uniquely positions the company to target the significant portion of the cloud infrastructure market that deploys both technologies.

"Our unique ability to deliver Flash and HDD innovation is a strong and differentiated value proposition," added Goeckeler. "All of our top twenty customers deploy both Flash and HDD storage from Western Digital and I'm happy with the new direction of our organization and the leaders we have in place to drive these businesses."

About Western Digital
Western Digital creates environments for data to thrive. As a leader in data infrastructure, the company is driving the innovation needed to help customers capture, preserve, access and transform an ever-increasing diversity of data. Everywhere data lives, from advanced data centers to mobile sensors to personal devices, our industry-leading solutions deliver the possibilities of data. Our data-centric solutions are comprised of the Western Digital®, G-Technology™, SanDisk®, and WD® brands.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, statements regarding industry trends and the benefits of the company's organization structure, new leaders and product portfolio strategy. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved, if at all. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Key risks and uncertainties include: future responses to and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic; volatility in global economic conditions; impact of business and market conditions; impact of competitive products and pricing; our development and introduction of products based on new technologies and expansion into new data storage markets; risks associated with cost saving initiatives, restructurings, acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, joint ventures and our strategic relationships; difficulties or delays in manufacturing or other supply chain disruptions;  hiring and retention of key employees; our high level of debt and other financial obligations; changes to our relationships with key customers; disruptions in operations from cyberattacks or other system security risks; actions by competitors; risks associated with compliance with changing legal and regulatory requirements and the outcome of legal proceedings; and other risks and uncertainties listed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), including the company's Form 10-K filed with the SEC on Aug. 28, 2020, to which your attention is directed. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.


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