Ahana Welcomes Database Pioneer David E. Simmen to Executive Team as Chief Technology Officer

dave dipti steven

Former Splunk Fellow and Chief Architect & Teradata Fellow brings 30+ years of database expertise to lead technology innovation

David Simmen 1

San Mateo, CA — July 23, 2020Ahana, the SQL analytics company for Presto, today announced the appointment of David E. Simmen as Chief Technology Officer. Simmen will oversee the company’s technology strategy while driving product innovation. His extensive database experience will further accelerate Ahana’s vision of simplifying ad hoc analytics for organizations of all shapes and sizes.

“Dave has a remarkable record of innovation in distributed databases, data federation and advanced analytics. That, coupled with his over 30 years of architecting and building in the field, is nothing short of impressive,” said Steven Mih, Co-founder & CEO of Ahana. “His experience innovating distributed database technology with Splunk, Teradata and IBM provides Ahana the depth needed for truly groundbreaking development to achieve our vision of unified, federated analytics. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Dave at the helm as CTO and Co-founder.”

Simmen joined Ahana most recently from Apple where he engineered iCloud database services. Prior to Apple, he was Chief Architect with Splunk and named the first Fellow in the company’s history. There, he built Splunk’s multi-year technical roadmap and architecture in support of enterprise customers. Prior to Splunk, Simmen was Engineering Fellow and CTO of Teradata Aster where he set the technical direction and led the architecture team that built advanced analytics engines and storage capabilities in support of big data discovery applications.

Earlier in his career, Simmen was a Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM) at IBM Research adding innovations to DB2 like the IBM Starburst SQL compiler, support for MPP and SMP, database federation, and many more. Simmen is also a named inventor on 37 U.S. patents and has 15 publications to his name including Fundamental Techniques for Order Optimization, Robust Query Processing through Progressive Optimization, and Accelerating Big Data Analytics With Collaborative Planning.

“Given the spread of data across data lakes, data warehouses, and the plethora of relational and non-relational data services being offered today, the need for unified, federated analytics is only increasing. Presto is one of the most popular federated query engines but it’s missing fundamental optimizations developed over the decades by academic researchers and industry pioneers,” said Simmen. “That needs to be applied to Presto, making it even more powerful to eventually become the heart of the unified, federated analytical stack. I look forward to working with the Ahana team to turn this vision into reality.”

“In my time with Dave at IBM’s Almaden Research Center and then with the DB2 optimizer team at Silicon Valley Laboratory, I saw firsthand his technical expertise and his broader leadership skills,” said Dr. Laura Haas, Dean of College of Information and Computer Sciences at UMass Amherst and retired IBM Fellow. Dean Haas is best known for her work on the Starburst query processor and Garlic, a federated engine. 

Dean Haas continued, “His combined leadership and technical depth is unparalleled, and it’s wonderful that he has joined Ahana to drive innovation for the next generation of data federation technology for analytics. I look forward to seeing his vision come to life in this space.”


Download a headshot of David E. Simmen.

Links to David Simmen’s published research papers 

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About Ahana

Ahana, the SQL analytics company for Presto, is focused on evangelizing the Presto community and bringing simplified ad hoc analytics offerings to market. As the Presto market continues to grow exponentially, Ahana’s mission is to enable unified, federated analytics. Founded in 2020, Ahana is headquartered in San Mateo, CA and operates as an all-remote company. Investors include GV and Leslie Ventures. Follow Ahana on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Media Contact:

Beth Winkowski

Winkowski Public Relations, LLC