ARM Snaps Up Former SanDisk IoT Exec To Push Internet of Things Road Map

By:  Lindsey O’Donnell

Chip designer ARM Holdings Wednesday said it has hired a former SanDisk IoT luminary to lead its server and networking business.

Drew Henry, who took the role of senior vice president and general manager for infrastructure this month, said in a statement he will help “build the infrastructure needed for the next 10 years of computing” to help the company stay at the forefront as more devices become smart and connected.

“Today’s infrastructure is evolving to help these interconnected, sensor-enabled smart devices make instantaneous decisions while more machine-learning systems, in the cloud and increasingly on our everyday devices, constantly improve the training models to create a balance of distributed intelligence from edge to cloud,” said Henry in a statement. “All of this requires purpose-built processing with a robust ecosystem that innovates across a common architectural platform … the ARM architecture.”


Henry has years of experience working in new technology groups at companies including Nvidia, where he was general manager for the company’s GeForce GPU Business and its role in gaming, virtual reality and imaging.

At SanDisk, Henry played a pivotal role as senior vice president and general manager of the Client Platform Solutions Business in developing the company’s $200 million connected car, home and IoT business and navigating key partnerships with companies including Google, Amazon and Samsung.

Most recently, Henry was the CEO of Acetti Software, a startup focused on helping companies boost their cloud performance and cut infrastructure costs by taking advantage of multicore server CPUs.

“Drew is a veteran of the industry, bringing an excellent mix of compute and cloud experience to ARM,” said Rene Haas, executive vice president and president of IP Products Group at ARM, in a statement. “He brings a proven track record in optimizing workloads for new platforms and building new lines of business. He is an immediate impact hire for Arm and our fast-growing infrastructure ecosystem.”

The hiring will help ARM position itself to succeed in a competitive IoT market, as it butts heads with companies like Intel to put its chips in the increasing amount of smart gadgets worldwide.

Last year, Intel snagged former ARM executive Tom Lantzsch to lead its IoT group as the company continues to build out IoT applications around connected cars and vertical markets like retail.

ARM, for its part, offers a suite of products as part of its mbed IoT Device platform, aimed at accelerating large-scale business IoT deployments, allowing the chip design licensing company to get a stronger and more secure foothold in IoT applications such as wearables and smart cities.

Most recently, the company scooped up Mistbase and NextG-Com, which specialize in the technology behind narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) as the company looks to combine NB-IoT IP with secure cloud connectivity to facilitate IoT deployments.

“The same underlying ARM technology powering our smartphone-connected world is evolving to usher in this new era of autonomous machines where by 2021, machine-to-machine connections will comprise more than half of the 27 billion devices and connections on the internet,” said Henry.