Kirk Law

Kirk Law

Chief Development Officer for Product and Engineering, Cohesity
BSEE 1981, MSEE 1983

For his executive-level product leadership with proven successes in dynamic signature Silicon Valley growth companies, and leading high-performance teams through all phases of an innovation-based product lifecycle.

While working at RCA’s research center, after graduating from Purdue,  Kirk Law was part of the technical innovation efforts related to the digital TV innovations that we enjoy today.   As senior director at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Law was one of the leaders who helped spur a new $300-$400M revenue business in video and film 3D special effects that ushered in a new generation of movies and television such as the “Star Wars” Episodes I, II and III  movies — “The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” and “Revenge of the Sith,” as well as “Jurassic Park,” and “Congo,” among others. 

“During this time, we invented ways to make open system 3D graphics and computing to foster innovative digital media content creation,” Law said. “I personally grew from an engineering individual contributor to a senior technical leader of teams and a key customer representative for the company.”

His early achievements opened many doors, producing  a lucrative career and track record of innovating and delivering complex software, firmware, hardware systems, middleware, and application-level software while serving in senior leadership positions at signature Silicon Valley growth software companies.

Law is currently exploring his next challenge in this fast-moving world of emerging solutions leveraging AI-based technology innovations.

Through the end of 2023, Law has been the chief development officer at Cohesity, Inc., an enterprise and security data management company.  His worldwide team created product innovations including advanced classification and ransomware scanning technology to monitor and alert on sensitive data attacks, as well as introducing multicloud-based cybersecurity vaulting solutions.

Prior, he fulfilled roles at Tableau Software (acquired by SalesForce), Primary Data Inc., SanDisk Inc., NetApp Inc., Cacheflow Inc., Silicon Graphics, and RCA, where he was affiliated with five co-patents.

While at Purdue, he was a member of Eta Kappa Nu Beta Chapter, the honor society of the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), and for 11 years, served on the ECE Industry Advisory Council. As part of the Black professional Sigma Phi Fraternity, Law completed stints as chapter president, Pacific regional officer, and Social Action Committee chairman. Currently, he is a board member of Raising A Reader in Redwood City, Calif., a program supporting families to build, practice and grow reading routines at home.  

He was featured on the cover of World’s Leaders magazine as one of the “World’s Most Successful Black Corporate Leaders to Watch in 2022,” and was among those listed in Savoy magazine’s “2022 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America.”  In 2012, Law received the Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer Award from Purdue’s Elmore Family of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Law appreciates how Purdue helped him procure his problem-solving skills and trained him to seek wide-view perspectives and identify the context of problems before diving too quickly into the solutions. Working as a teacher’s assistant while studying for his master’s degree, he discovered his potential for leadership and mentoring.

“Tutoring, explaining, and mentoring students in their studies exposed how much I enjoyed what I was taught and the joy of helping to share knowledge with others. Seeing others light up when I explained something and they ‘got it’ was a wonderful feeling. Purdue was a great environment to emphasize the joy of learning and knowledge sharing.”

His advice for today’s undergraduates is to take as many classes outside of their majors as they can handle. “The environment and habits of learning at Purdue and the experiences and connections that you will gain can last a lifetime.”

Career Highlights

2021–2023 Chief Development Officer for Product and Engineering, Cohesity
2018–2021 Senior Vice President, Product Development, Tableau Software
2015–2018 Senior Vice President, Engineering, Primary Data Inc.
2014–2015 Vice President, Engineering, SanDisk Inc.
2002–2014 Vice President, Engineering, NetApp Inc.
2001–2002 Vice President, Engineering, Cacheflow, Inc.
1986–2001 Senior Director of Engineering, Silicon Graphics, Inc.
1983–1986 Member, Technical Staff, RCA David Sarnoff Research Center


1981 BS Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
1983 MS Electrical Engineering, Purdue University