Pivotal hires former eBay VP to lead R&D efforts

Pivotal, the cloud computing and big data company that spun out EMC and VMware  in 2012, has hired Hugh E. Williams as its senior vice president of research and development. A search engine expert, Williams was most recently vice president of experience, search and platforms at eBay, and did R&D as part of the Microsoft Bing team before that.

At eBay, he told me during a 2012 interview about the company’s big data efforts, his team was “responsible for the entire eBay experience from the moment users hit the site until moment they make a purchase, from code to data center automation to building new picture-hosting platforms.”

Hugh E. Williams

Hugh E. Williams

At Pivotal, Williams will head up the company’s R&D efforts and manage various aspects of product development. His experience using big data and other new technologies to build actual consumer-facing products should make Williams a good fit for company, which appears more focused on helping customers build new types of applications rather than just providing the infrastructure components. As part of that effort, one might assume Pivotal will begin developing new technologies designed with that mission in mind; its current suite of products is a stable of existing technologies developed over the past decade or so at VMware and elsewhere.

We’ll dive deeper into the vision of Pivotal and the types of research Williams might be working on during our Structure Data conference in March. Paul Maritz, Pivotal’s CEO (and former VMware CEO), will be on stage for a one-on-one chat with Om Malik on March 19.