I’ve been surprised by a couple of recent articles highlighting our recent leadership change. These articles imply that our business model may be changing. Let me be clear, WE ARE NOT CHANGING OUR BUSINESS MODEL. We are committed to providing training and support of a 100% open source distribution of Apache Hadoop and related projects.
Rob Bearden has agreed to take on the role of CEO. I am moving from CEO to the role of CTO.
The requirements of the CEO job have changed. Last year, our company was in a technology & brand building phase, with more than 75% of our staff in R&D. Product development was our primary focus. It made sense to have a technologist as CEO. This year, we are in a “go to market” phase. Along with continuing to grow R&D, we are staffing up sales, marketing, business development, support, training, professional services, legal, accounting, HR and the many other functions required to take our product to market. This year, the CEO role is much more operational. I could not continue to do that job and also function as the company’s technology leader. Hence the change.
Hortonworks has always had Rob’s and my partnership at its core. I’ve been leading our Hadoop development team since Hadoop’s inception. Rob has an exceptional grasp of commercial open source business models and knows what it takes to build successful companies. Since our company’s founding, we’ve worked extremely well together. That hasn’t changed.
Hortonworks’ business strategy is to invest in enabling the Apache Hadoop market to flourish, by building and supporting a complete and 100% open source data platform powered by Apache Hadoop. Rob is the architect of our company’s business strategy and his move to the CEO role is simply an affirmation of our commitment to our strategy and the community of Apache Hadoop developers and users. We continue to believe that we can create significant value for our shareholders by selling support and training of a 100% open source product. While Rob and I have changed our titles, our partnership remains the same. Rob continues to run the company’s operations and I continue to focus on our technology vision and delivery of great software to the Apache Hadoop community.
In summary, Rob and I both believe very strongly in our company’s strategy. Rob’s promotion to CEO will in no way alter our plans. Our board of directors is also completely behind this strategy. As importantly, this strategy is exactly what the market wants. Every week, we hear from customers and partners that they are attracted to work with Hortonworks because of our 100% open source commitment. We have already announced some important wins, and we are preparing to make some additional announcements in the near future. Stay tuned.