Basil Hashem, Product Manager in Redwood City, CA, United States

Basil Hashem

Product Manager

Redwood City, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
April 9, 2019

Basil is a product executive with 20+ years of experience in enterprise, consumer, and developer solutions in corporate and startup settings. His particular expertise is centered on general strategy, market analysis, technology selection, and architecture. Basil joined Toptal to share his in-depth and varied experience and expertise on a range of projects.

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Project Highlights

Cafu | On-demand Fuel Delivery (Mobile and SaaS Platform)
Served as the product strategist and advisor for the formation of this United Arab Emirates-based business.
VMware Workspace ONE
Led a team and launched the Workspace ONE product, a multimillion-dollar business for VMware.


API ArchitectureCloud ComputingEngineering ManagementPeople DevelopmentProduct ManagementProduct StrategySoftware ArchitectureStrategic Partnerships


Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree
University of Southern California
Bachelor's Degree
UCLA | University of California, Los Angeles

Work Experience

2019 - 2021

Vice President, Product Development

  • Led and built the engineering and product organization for this company focused on cloud cost management. Helped the company grow revenue by winning new customers and retaining/expanding within the existing base.
  • Tuned the company’s product strategy and direction and found the product/market fit. Helped raise Series B financing and participated in hiring all key management.
  • Led the existing team, which included a remote team in Pakistan, and hired a distributed team in the US.
  • Implemented new best practices in engineering, stabilized the production environment, and spearheaded a next-generation platform's design, architecture, and delivery. Managed the first patent filing.
  • Worked on all aspects and phases of product development (except coding), including customer discovery, vision, roadmaps, features definition, UX designs, arch and design reviews, project management, bug bashing, legal, operations, support, etc.
  • Managed external contractors, cloud services, developer tools, licensed various technologies and complex SaaS solutions and streamlined all IT for the company.
2017 - 2018

Senior Advisor

McKinsey & Company
  • Helped design a program to bring McKinsey's capabilities in big data, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) and applied it to social good causes.
  • Recommended strategic initiatives and keystone projects to kick-off the program.
  • Researched the world of human trafficking and delved into effective ways to combat it, using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
  • Interviewed nonprofits to understand their data and how they measure their impact and outcomes; also proposed potential projects to nonprofits.
  • Collaborated with AI/ML companies who have working solutions and looked at how to apply them in the not-for-profit space.
2017 - 2018

Product Strategist and Advisor

Mena Energy Ventures, Intelligent B
  • Managed and helped build a consumer on-demand tech startup, Cafu, that deals in mobile fuel delivery in Dubai, UAE. Advised on the creation of Urban.
  • Participated in drafting role specifications, interviewing, and hiring the team.
  • Developed functional requirements for the service.
  • Examined and detailed similar services in other markets.
  • Designed the tech architecture, researched, and recommended a platform and development path.
  • Developed technical partnerships and negotiated licenses for various services.
  • Participated in finance, operational design, marketing, and overall execution.
2016 - 2017

Vice President, Strategy, and Advanced Development

  • Set product direction and new business strategy for mobility; this included prototyping and developing new end-user computing (EUC) solutions.
  • Evaluated new business opportunities, including partnerships, investments, and acquisitions; completed all due diligence required for VMware to successfully move forward.
  • Collaborated with local academic and startup communities to surface interesting developments and discover alignments.
  • Guided go-forward partnerships and sparked the imagination of core engineers, sharing opportunities on various platforms.
  • Oversaw the development of leading-edge prototypes in voice-to-text, artificial intelligence agents for email search, Android virtualization on Intel systems, Microsoft Hololens, ARM-based security enclaves, etc.
2011 - 2016

Senior Director, Product Management, and Strategy

  • Took on leadership, evaluation, and acquisition responsibilities of AirWatch, the leader in enterprise mobility management; this was VMware’s largest acquisition, valued at $1.54 billion and included 2,000+ employees.
  • Integrated AirWatch's company, people, products, and processes into VMware, ensuring a successful and seamless transition.
  • Investigated new growth areas for VMware and AirWatch (such as IoT and M2M); this involved research, development, and a presentation of an internet-of-things (IoT) strategic plan for executive management.
  • Established a strategy to enter mobile application development and management markets.
  • Researched approaches, developed plans, evangelized and vetted options, evaluated potential partnerships, recommended acquisition targets, and initiated organic product development efforts.
  • Launching the Horizon platform, ensuring availability on a broad set of mobile devices; the solution provided secure end-user access to applications and data on desktops, laptops, phones, and tablets.
  • Led a team of product managers to deliver Horizon Workspace, mobile, and identity solutions.
  • Defined and delivered multiple releases of an enterprise-grade application access and data management platform.
  • Managed the Horizon Mobile (Android virtualization) product through its full lifecycle, including device OEM and carrier partnerships.
2009 - 2011

Vice President, Products

  • Defined the company’s strategy and collaborated with investors to facilitate the acquisition by Appcelerator (now: Axway) in collaboration with the CEO.
  • Revised the product direction and roadmap for Aptana Studio, the leading open-source, integrated development environment (IDE) for the web.
  • Grew the monthly active user base by 150% and increased downloads by 50%.
  • Measured and implemented new monetization approaches (ads, service referrals, etc.) and established partnerships with key developer-oriented service providers.
  • Played a key role in transitioning and integrating the product and team into Appcelerator.
2008 - 2009

Senior Director, Product Management

  • Built roadmaps and product specs for publisher, advertiser, and network infrastructure projects, such as analytics, user demographics, device profiling, targeting, third-party network integration, local advertising, conversion, and network quality.
  • Designed AdMob's mobile OS platform strategy, covering iPhone, Android, RIM/Blackberry, Palm WebOS, Symbian OS, Windows Mobile, Java, and Flash.
  • Delivered multiple iterations of analytics dashboards and publishing API solutions and ensured successful integration of third-party solutions into the AdMob platform.
2006 - 2008

Senior Director, Product Management

Mozilla Corporation
  • Defined, delivered, and managed the Firefox developer ecosystem, including Firefox add-ons, the website, and overall developer strategy.
  • Initiated and launched bundling and distribution channels for co-branded and customized Firefox release with Google, Yahoo!, Kodak, eBay, and many others.
  • Led the product requirements and design phases of Firefox upon establishing a simplified data collection and requirements gathering process.
  • Launched the first generation of Mozilla Labs, a showcase for experimentation and innovation from the Mozilla community.
2005 - 2006

Senior Director, Travel Products

  • Defined the business and product strategy for Yahoo! Travel properties: Travel Guides (travel search product), FareChase (comparison travel search engine), and Trip Planner.
  • Led a team of 12 PMs to define and deliver multiple travel-related product releases.
  • Increased traffic by 50% and revenue by 100% for Yahoo! Travel Guides through deep integration with Yahoo!, the main site search, and new monetization initiatives.
  • Instituted Scrum as an Agile development methodology; revised product development processes to increase collaboration amongst engineers, user experience designers, and product managers.
2000 - 2003

Co-founder | Senior Director, Products

  • Co-founded and built CenterRun based on an idea of a market-defining product for data center automation.
  • Worked with lighthouse customers to define and design early prototypes.
  • Served as product owner for all versions of CenterRun, 1.0 to 4.0.
  • Raised funds from Sequoia Capital in one of the most challenging fundraising environments.
  • Hired a team (45), built the product, and acquired customers (15).
  • Played a key role in selling the company to Sun Microsystems in August 2003, becoming part of the N1 data center automation initiative. (Later product was transitioned to Oracle when Sun was acquired.).
  • Supported the acquisition by integrating CenterRun employees into Sun’s culture.
  • Presented the product at company public events and integrated CenterRun products into Sun Microsystems’ Data Center Automation roadmap; trained Sun’s personnel to ensure seamless integration.
1996 - 2000

Director, Product Management

AOL and Netscape
  • Led a team of eight product managers to define and ship personalization infrastructure services for the My Netscape, My, and My AOL properties.
  • Built and managed massively scalable services for AOL sites, which saw membership in the millions of users, personalized daily pageviews of 10 million+, and increased time online.
  • Managed the Netscape web server business and helped grow product line to $40 million/year across four channels (direct, VAR/SI, OEM, and web sales).
  • Coordinated a team of product managers through two major product release cycles from requirements planning to launch.
  • Contributed to Netscape Enterprise Server consistently coming first in competitive web server reviews.
  • Launched one of the first merchant credit-card payment-processing gateways on the Internet, a service for websites to accept credit cards that's all programmable with server-side JavaScript.

Project History

Cafu | On-demand Fuel Delivery (Mobile and SaaS Platform)

Served as the product strategist and advisor for the formation of this United Arab Emirates-based business.

The project was launched in less than six months since inception, precisely because of my recommendations around leveraging an existing SaaS solution to deliver and operate the business.

Role: Product Strategist and Advisor

Specific Tasks:
• Drafted job descriptions and interviewed the CTO and eight technical team members.
• Alongside the general manager and the CTO, worked to develop and model the functional requirements for the service.
• Researched GIS platforms for creating a custom pipeline for graphically representing service availability.
• Designed an overall technology architecture and made recommendations for the development path.
• Established technical partnerships and negotiated licenses for various dependent technical services.
• Also participated in the financial modeling, operational design of trucks, and data instrumentation.

VMware Workspace ONE

Led a team and launched the Workspace ONE product, a multimillion-dollar business for VMware.

This solution offered enterprises a unified way to manage a digital workspace by providing access to applications and files independent of the platform. Whether access was through a mobile/desktop device or if the app was a web-based one, a SaaS service, a VDI-hosted desktop, or even a native Windows apps, log in and access were seamless.

The team included several product managers and a large and diverse engineering organization.

Role: Senior Director of Products

Specific Tasks:
• Launched and got feedback from a beta program with customers.
• Also deployed the solution (with VMware IT) to employees for in-house use.


1990 - 1992

Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in General Management

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA, USA

1984 - 1988

Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science

UCLA | University of California, Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA, USA