Sean Farney

Sean Farney

Executive Director, Data Center Strategy & Innovation

Current responsibilities

Sean is the Executive Director, Data Center Strategy & Innovation, charged with developing deeper client relationships, broader industry awareness, and enhanced partner collaboration by evangelizing JLL’s broad facility management, sustainability, commissioning, capital market, colocation & cloud advisory services. He works with clients to fully leverage the firm’s capabilities to maximum digital infrastructure value, minimize facility risk and drive data center innovation.

Previous experience

Prior to his current role, Sean was Director of Marketing and Business Development for Kohler’s Data Center business. As Subject Matter Expert, he led segment strategy using Voice of Customer and hands-on experience to create an innovative mix of communications tactics, including multi-channel digital marketing and social brand awareness campaigns.

As Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Ubiquity Critical Environments, a first-mover Edge Data Center Start-Up, he partnered with Schneider Electric and Sears Holdings to design a national network of 50+ sub-1MW facilities located in Tier 2/3/4 MSAs to provide streaming content and services.

He built and operated Microsoft’s 120MW Chicago data center, implementing containerization to drive sustainable operations while deploying 100,000 servers in less than 12 months with no unscheduled downtime. While there, he designed and oversaw the industry’s first out-tasked container data center facilities management program.

Sean has also led Digital Transformation strategic programs at two Fortune 500 companies, executing global data center consolidation and cloud migration, and initiatives that resulted in reduced time-to-revenue. 

He is active in the industry, participating in panels, roundtables, podcasts, and other speaking events. Sean publishes regularly on such venues as Data Center Frontier, Data Center Dynamics, Mission Critical Magazine, and Data Centre Magazine. 

Education and affiliations

Sean earned a master’s degree in Information Technology from Northwestern University and studied philosophy and education at Miami University. 

He shares his passion for technology by teaching a graduate-level course on data centers at Northwestern University.