SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Kash Shaikh was recently named Authentic Leader of 2021 by the National Diversity Council and listed as IndustryWired Magazine's 10 Most Influential CEOs Rising to the Top this year. As President and CEO of Virtana, a hybrid cloud management software company with 4.8 out of 5 star ratings on Comparably and Glassdoor, Kash is redefining what it means to be an authentic, servant leader. He is showing the importance (and benefit) of leading with empathy, service, and humility.
In January 2015, Harvard Business Review (HBR) declared that, "Authenticity has emerged as the gold standard for leadership." The National Diversity Council seeks not only to uphold and promote the principles of authentic leadership but also aims to recognize individuals who personify these principles. The Authentic Leader award was based on the below criteria:
Leader promotes the importance of authenticity, transparency and inclusion within the workplace and community
Leads and facilitates courageous conversations on important topics that impact the local community and workplace – such as race, gender, age, national origin, etc. – to foster open communication within the organization
Virtana employees regularly weigh in via online reviews, often sharing feedback on what Kash's leadership style means to their work experience. One employee recently stated on Comparably, "Our CEO believes leadership is a service to employees and customers. This is fast changing our work environment to be positive." Another commented on the company leadership as "a humble executive leadership team that really wants to do the right thing for the company and the employees." As CEO, Kash has a Comparably score of 98 out of 100, placing him in the top five percent of similarly-sized companies in the U.S.
Kash was also named Most Influential Leader Rising to the Top in 2021. This annual listing from IndustryWired features 10 influential CEOs making significant contributions to businesses by delivering cutting-edge solutions and disrupting industries worldwide with their foresight and leadership.
"It is an honor to receive an authentic leader award from the National Diversity Council near the end of my first year leading company transformation at Virtana," said Kash. "As someone who grew up in the slums of a third world country, I believe one does not need to be perfect to inspire people. To be authentic is to be at peace with our imperfections and let people be inspired by how we handle the less than ideal."
Kash noted, "We have delivered unparalleled performance to date at Virtana—from the growth of our software platform to drive human progress, to the focus on investing in employee development, to treating leadership as a service to our employees and customers. I am humbled to be a part of the mission."
Under Kash's leadership, the team launched an award-winning cloud management SaaS platform, exceeded most financial operating metrics (including booking and revenue goals three quarters in a row, reaching 54% YoY 1H 2021 sales growth), and turned the company profitable by over-delivering on profitability goals. In the first half of 2021, 73% of the company's revenue came from annual recurring revenue (ARR), a remarkable milestone given Virtana is only in its second year of transition from primarily on-premises, perpetual license-led to a SaaS and subscription licensing business model.
In 2021, Virtana was named Coolest Cloud Company by CRN, Top Cloud Leader Reducing Public Cloud Costs by Business Insider, a Leading Company of 2021, a Customer First company by Gartner, World Technology Leader, and Top Company Revolutionizing Healthcare. In addition, Virtana leaders were named Channel Chief of 2021 and CTO of the Year. Gartner also named Virtana Platform one of the Top 10 Digital Platform Conductor Tools and AIOps Platform.
To learn more about how Virtana's leadership is shifting the company culture, read this blog on its updated vision, purpose, and core culture behaviors.
About Virtana Virtana delivers the industry's first unified observability platform for migrating, optimizing, and managing application workloads across public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments. Using artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) technologies, including machine learning and advanced data analytics, the cloud-agnostic Virtana Platform solves the most difficult challenges facing enterprises as they seek to leverage public clouds. The SaaS platform enables a "know before you go" approach by providing intelligent observability into which workloads to migrate. It also ensures that unexpected costs and performance degradation are avoided once workloads are operating in the cloud. With the Virtana Platform, enterprises can confidently speed cloud adoption and reduce cloud operating costs by simplifying management of their IT environments.