The File Experts

In 2013, our founders foresaw a world where companies routinely managed billions of files comprising petabytes of storage. To deal with this new world of multiple NAS vendors, multiple clouds, and data spread everywhere - they built Igneous.


Our Leadership Team

Meet the team behind the number one solution for managing unstructured data with performance at scale.

Dean Darwin

Dean Darwin

President and CEO

Dean is President and CEO and a member of the Board of Directors. Darwin also serves on the Advisory Board for the Michael G. Foster School of Business Sales Program at the University of Washington. Prior to Igneous, Dean was SVP of Prisma at Palo Alto Networks leading the Cloud business unit. Before that, he was SVP/CMO at F5 Networks, and he has also had leadership positions at NetApp, RadioFrame Networks, and Cisco Systems. Darwin received a B.S. in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and is also a veteran of the Air Force. Dean expresses his Northwest pride through his deep knowledge of—and appreciation for—rock music and attends as many shows as he can.


Jeff Hughes


Jeff is cofounder and CTO, responsible for aligning the company’s technical strategy with the business strategy. Prior to Igneous, Jeff was Director of Engineering for the Isilon Storage Division of EMC and before that worked for Intel Research. Jeff received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Washington. Despite sailing in all types of Pacific Northwest weather any chance he gets, Jeff has only had hypothermia three times.


Byron Rakitzis


As cofounder and Architect, Byron spearheads new approaches to scalability and performance of distributed systems. Prior to Igneous, Byron was the first employee hired at NetApp and was responsible for one-third of the code in its first product. Throughout his career, Byron has authored or contributed to over 30 patents in storage and file systems. Byron earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Princeton University. Outside his career in technology, Byron pursues his passion for classical music, and has been a freelance flutist, oboist, and bassoonist for orchestras throughout North America.

2_6_20 Mike OBrien-51-1

Mike O'Brien


Mike is CRO, responsible for growing the business through integration of people, processes, systems, and technology. Prior to Igneous, Mike was Senior Vice President of Global Revenue and Operations at K2, and CEO of WiMetrics Corporation, a wireless security software startup he co-founded in 2003. Mike received bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from University of Puget Sound. When he’s not accelerating revenue for Igneous, Mike is accelerating downhill on skis at Crystal Mountain, where he’s been a regular for several decades.


Anna Mowry

VP of Finance and Operations

Anna is VP of Finance and Operations, responsible for accounting, finance, human resources, operations, and other G&A functions. Prior to Igneous, Anna was Senior Director of Finance and Sales Operations at ExtraHop, and before that, she held finance leadership roles at AWS and EMC Isilon. She holds a BS in biochemistry from Western Washington University and an MBA, Finance from University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. Anna enjoys running and lives in Seattle with her cat. If she weren’t in finance, she would be a real estate agent.

Jim Choumas - Igneous

Jim Choumas

VP of Sales and Channels

Jim is VP of Sales and Channels, responsible for worldwide sales strategy and for building mutually beneficial relationships with channel partners. Prior to Igneous, Jim was Director of North America Channels at Qumulo, where he was responsible for developing the channel program from the ground up. Before that, he managed sales organizations at storage companies including NetApp, Fusion-IO, and Nimbus Data. Jim received a bachelor’s degree with honors in Computer Science from National University. A snappy dresser, Jim would give you a run for your money at golf.

Carolyn Hughes - Igneous

Carolyn Hughes

VP of Engineering

Carolyn is VP of Engineering, responsible for leading engineering and service operations. Prior to her role as VP of Engineering, Carolyn was Director of Cloud Applications Engineering at Igneous. Before that, she was Director of Engineering, Storage Management & Analytics Software for the Isilon Storage Division of EMC. Carolyn received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Washington. In her spare time, Carolyn enjoys sailing, avoids hypothermia, and encourages the people in her life to use checklists.

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