David Hitz is the Founder and Executive Vice President of NetApp, Inc. As executive vice president, Hitz is responsible for the future strategy and direction of NetApp.
Dave Hitz and James Lau founded NetApp in 1992, with a desire to simplify storage the way Cisco simplified networking. Hitz and Lau believed that general-purpose computing systems were too complex, so they built dedicated devices called appliances. These appliances were designed to handle one thing well: storage.
Prior to 1992, Hitz worked as a senior engineer at Auspex Corporation, an enterprise storage solutions provider, where he was responsible for file systems and microkernel design. He also held engineering positions at MIPS Computer, focusing on file system and I/O subsystem design for the System V kernel development effort. Before his career in the computer industry, Hitz worked as a cowboy, gaining valuable management experience by herding, branding, and castrating cattle.
Hitz holds a bachelor's degree in computer science and electrical engineering from Princeton University.