Careers at HGST


HGST seeks to ensure the stability and security of consumer and enterprise data through the sale of various data storage devices and the provision of complex commercial data storage solutions.

Founding story

HGST was founded in 2003 by way of a merger of the hard disk drive businesses of IBM and Hitachi. The Company functioned initially as a subsidiary of Hitachi under the name Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. The Company was acquired in 2012 by US-based storage solutions provider Western Digital for a reported $3.9 billion in cash and 25 million shares of Western Digital’s common stock valued at approximately $900 million.

Under the Western Digital umbrella, HGST has established itself as a leading provider of data storage products and solutions. Western Digital remains in the process of integrating HGST’s operations into its existing business, with a view to establishing a stronger, unified entity. According to its website, HGST is currently led by the senior executive team of Western Digital while this process is ongoing.

Business model of HGST

Customer Segments

HGST provides a broad range of hard drives, solid state drives, and other enterprise data storage solutions to commercial entities across multiple industries, including to distributors, original equipment manufacturers, and other enterprise businesses. The Company divides its customers primarily into the following industries:

  • Cloud Service Providers, comprising various cloud storage solutions providers;
  • Financial Services, comprising a range of financial services providers such as investment managers, brokers, and insurance companies, as well as banking institutions;
  • Healthcare and Life Sciences, comprising healthcare providers such as hospitals and clinics, as well as life sciences and pharmaceutical companies;
  • Oil and Gas, comprising oil and gas companies across the entirety of the energy chain, including independent and multinational oil and gas producers and transmission companies;
  • Telecommunications, comprising telecommunications providers, including internet service providers, cable network providers, and mobile telecoms companies;
  • Media and Entertainment, comprising broadcasting, publishing, and marketing and advertising companies; and
  • Other Enterprise Data Centres, including data centre operations across a number of other sectors.

HGST serves a global customer base. While its principal market is its native US, HGST also serves customers around the world, including across Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East.

Value Propositions

HGST provides value to its customers in the following ways:

  • Its industry standing and reputation, with the Company established as a reliable provider of enterprise data storage solutions, with a positive track record and a large commercial client base;
  • Its diverse range data storage solutions, with the Company offering a wide range of storage solutions – including solid state solutions and hard drives – that suit the needs companies across multiple industries, including the healthcare and financial services sectors;
  • Its proprietary technologies, with the Company developing and utilising a range of proprietary technologies for use in its solutions, enabling it to provide unique and innovative service offerings;
  • Its international sales and service reach, with the Company serving a large domestic customer base in the US, as well as a number of overseas clients, including in Asia Pacific and Europe; and
  • Its technical expertise and experience, with the Company employing specialist technical personnel across the enterprise, as well as a team of experienced industry executives.


HGST operates a website at, through which the Company provides information on its various products, services, and target industries. Despite its online presence, the Company does not operate an online sales channel. HGST operates its own n-house sales force that deals directly with clients, providing information and support. These personnel operate out of the Company’s network of offices.

HGST also makes sales through a network of third party channel partners. This includes a range of authorised distributors across numerous international markets across the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East, including in Brazil, Mexico, China, Malaysia, Czech Republic, and Norway.

These distributors are authorised to market and sell HGST products and solutions on the Company’s behalf. HGST also makes sales through a network of physical and digital retail partners in Canada and the US.

Customer Relationships

HGST does not provide products or services directly to customers on a self-service basis. Customers can purchase HGST products on a largely self-service basis through third party retailers both online and in physical stores. Customers can also use products purchased through these retailers independently after purchase.

HGST provides tailored guidance and solutions to commercial clients where possible, customising certain data storage solutions to suit the size and requirements of individual clients. Services are provided under sales and service contracts, with the Company seeking to establish long-term customer relationships and secure recurring business.

HGST provides ongoing support to its customers, offering tailored assistance in relation to its various products and solutions and across its multiple operating markets over the phone or via email. The Company also provides a catalogue of technical support resources, including warranty policy information, technical documentation, and compatibility guides.

HGST keeps its customers updated with company developments, and interacts with customers directly, through its blog and social media accounts, including with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Key Activities

HGST is a provider of data storage products, solutions, and services. This includes the manufacture of storage devices such as hard drives, external drives, internal drives, solid state drives, and hard disks.

The Company serves a diverse range of commercial clients spanning multiple industries, including the healthcare, financial services, oil and gas, media and entertainment, and telecommunications sectors. In addition to its own direct sales channels, the Company makes sales through various third party channel partners, including an international network of authorised distributors and digital and physical retail outlets. HGST serves clients across the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

Key Partners

HGST works in close collaboration with a range of partner companies and organisations in order to develop and deliver reliable and effective solutions. These partners can be organised broadly into the following categories:

  • Supplier and Vendor Partners, comprising suppliers of materials, equipment, and components utilised in the development and manufacture of the Company’s physical products, as well as suppliers of services and technologies that are utilised more broadly cross the Company’s operations;
  • Channel and Distribution Partners, comprising the Company’s network of third party sales and distribution partners, including authorised distributors, value added resellers, and physical and digital retailers;
  • Marketing and Affiliate Partners, comprising various online and offline businesses that assist in enhancing the Company’s own marketing reach, often in return for commissions; and
  • Strategic and Alliance Partners, comprising companies from a range of industries, with which the Company collaborates on a various joint projects, including in marketing, branding, and development.

HGST has launched a number of partnerships in recent years. This includes partnerships with Cisco and ICC.

Key Resources

HGST’s key resources are its proprietary technologies and intellectual properties, its materials and supply chain, its IT and communications infrastructure, its sales and distribution networks, its manufacturing facilities, its partnerships, and its personnel.

HGST utilises a range of intellectual property protections to secure its proprietary technologies. Searches of records published by the US Patent and Trademark Office identified several patent applications filed in HGST’s name, including applications entitled ‘Solid state devices having fine pitch structures’, ‘Multiple bit per cell dual-alloy GST memory elements’ and ‘Self-aligned memory cell contact’.

HGST additionally owns a number of physical properties across its operating markets, comprising its office network, manufacturing facilities, and storage and distribution infrastructure.

Cost Structure

HGST incurs costs in relation to the development of its technologies, the procurement of materials and services, the operation of its manufacturing facilities, the maintenance of its IT and communications infrastructure, the operation of its sales and marketing network, the implementation of advertising campaigns, the management of its partnerships, and the retention of its personnel.

Revenue Streams

HGST generates revenue through the sale of physical data storage products and the provision of more complex enterprise data storage solutions to customers across multiple industries. The Company derives revenue in the form of physical sales, as well as under sales and service contracts.

HGST is a unit data solutions group Western Digital, which generated net revenue for the year of $15.13 billion in 2015.

Our team

Michael Cordano,
President and Chief Operating Officer

info: Michael has been President and Chief Operating Officer at Western Digital since 2015, overseeing much of the group’s day-to-day operations. He previously worked at HGST before it was acquired by Western Digital, serving for spells as the Company’s President, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and President of Branded Business. Cordano is an experienced data storage professional. Earlier in his career he served as Chief Executive Fabrik, a storage company of which he was a co-founder, prior to which he served as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Maxtor Corporation.

Stephen Milligan,
Chief Executive Officer

info: Stephen has served as Western Digital’s Chief Executive Officer since 2013, having joined the Company for the second time in 2012 as its President. Milligan oversees the overall strategic direction of the Company. Milligan previously worked at HGST, prior to its acquisition by Western Digital, serving as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. In his early career Milligan held roles at Dell and Price Waterhouse, where he began working in data storage. He joined Western Digital for the first time in 2002 as Vice President of Finance, going on to serve as its Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, but left the Company to join HGST in 2007.

Mark Long,
Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Financial Officer

info: Mark has served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer at Western Digital since 2016. He is responsible for leading the Company’s various financial functions, including its internal audit and accounting units. Prior to joining Western Digital, Long served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development at HGST. Long began his career in 1995 as a corporate attorney at Gunderson Dettmer. He moved into investment banking in 1998 when he joined Deutsche Bank Securities, focusing on software and internet investments. He worked briefly at Credit Suisse, before joining Intraware as Executive Vice President of Strategic Development in 1999. Long went on to hold senior executive positions at SageMetrics and Aidant Capital before joining VisionPoint Capital, where he was Managing Director for five years.