I’m tremendously excited to join Talend. I’ve watched the company from its very early days: I met the founders at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco when I was a GM on Microsoft’s SQL Server team. (The fact that I went to OSBC while working at Microsoft is a story in for another blog post). I thought the company was an intriguing company then, and now that I’ve gotten closer to it I’ve discovered how true that observation was. We have a unique combination: great products, a terrific team, an enthusiastic community, thousands of successful customers, and an enormous market. Together we have an opportunity to continue building one of the truly great companies in our space.
My path to Talend included a number of experiences that I’ll be drawing on here. I’ve always been a product guy; I started out as an engineer designing computer chips at Sun Microsystems. At the same time, I always wanted to understand what makes companies successful in addition to excellent products. That drove me to business school, and from there to work at Microsoft. It’s hard to imagine now, but back in the early and mid 90s, Microsoft was seen as an enviable company with great marketing and world class hiring (you could say they were the Apple or Google of the time). I learned an enormous amount there about building and leading teams, building products, and building businesses, working on MSN and Exchange Server.
After nearly 6 years I left to start a company with a friend of mine from Microsoft and two of his high school friends from India, where we learned about starting a company from nothing and working with the venture community. After this experience, and after running a $200M division at Polycom, I returned to Microsoft as GM of the SQL Server Marketing team. This gave me a chance to learn about the data management space, and to work with enterprise customers around the world on mission critical projects. We grew the business from $1.5B to $2.5B in 3 years, and were consistently one of Microsoft’s fastest growing businesses.
That led me back to Boston for Rapid7, a security software company with an unusual inside sales model. We acquired Metasploit, one of the most popular open source projects in the security space, and fostered that community while building an open core business that was a key to our success. We built one of the strongest teams in our part of the security space and in Boston (I’d say the strongest, but of course I’m biased), and were consistently one of the fastest growing companies on the East Coast.
At Talend, I feel that I’ll have the opportunity to pull all of that together: the data management and worldwide enterprise customer experience from Microsoft, the open source, high growth and inside sales experiences from Rapid7, and my product development experience from Sun.
I’m meeting as many people on Team Talend as I can in my first couple weeks, and look forward to meeting more of you from the extended Talend community in the coming months. We have a an exciting future ahead of us, and at the same time a lot in front of us as we take the next steps in our journey together.