It’s always fascinating to hear that an early stage company has appointed a new CEO. While it is admittedly rare for a founder CEO to take a company through to a successful large-scale outcome (and a tip of the hat here to New Relic CEO Lew Cirne who has done just that), I get a little sad when visionary founders are turfed out to make way for someone with a proven record at scaling a business. It’s naïve, but it would be nice to think that a business could scale in lock-step with its CEO’s skills.

The fact is, however, that often scaling requires an infusion of leadership talent, and CEO swap outs are a regular occurrence. Today’s example is Sysdig. Sysdig is the somewhat weirdly named container monitoring company. Formed back in those heady days when Docker was new, exciting and everyone’s go-to for the next big thing in infrastructure, Sysdig has grown to the point that the company claims “hundreds” of customers across enterprise.

The company is naming Suresh Vasudevan as the new president and CEO, replacing founder Loris Degioanni. Deionanni will, according to the release, move into the CTO role and focus on the stuff that he likes – product strategy and technology.

If the Vasudevan name rings a bell, it might be because he was most recently the head honcho at Nimble storage. He joined Nimble in 2011 and led the company through its IPO and eventual $1B+ acquisition by Hewlett Packard Enterprises in 2017. If a stint at HPE isn’t enough to convince someone that they need to return to the world of early-stage companies, I don’t know what will.

The Sysdig opportunity

Sure Kubernetes has stolen much of the thunder that Docker generated, but none of that changes the very real fact that containers and microservices are becoming a standard way of delivering infrastructure. But with a new way of working, comes new challenges and in Sysdig’s case, it focuses on monitoring containers, ensuring their security and generally keeping container-based infrastructure safe. They have also kept a firm eye on industry developments and have integrated into newer market entrants – Kubernetes and Prometheus.

Readers will be shocked (not really) to hear that Vasudevan waxes lyrical about both Sysdig and its founder, saying that:

The cloud and microservices are rapidly taking over the world, but that doesn’t mean it has been a smooth transition. I’ve been talking to Sysdig customers and they were all hitting the same roadblocks. Legacy approaches were too costly and cumbersome. They also took up valuable development time. From the largest networking equipment maker in the world, to a top five global bank, they spent years trying to either build or buy tools, but had no luck until they found Sysdig

A little more on Vasudevan

While Nimble wasn’t a container company, it certainly was an infrastructure one and one that targeted some top-shelf enterprise customers. Over his time at the company, Nimble created one of the leading providers of flash storage systems, with more than $500 million in annualized revenues and over 10,000 customers. Prior to Nimble Storage, he was the CEO of Omneon (which was acquired by Harmonic Inc.), and previously served as a member of the executive team at NetApp, overseeing all product operations. During his decade-long career at NetApp, he led the company’s product strategy and product development.

Cleary this is a leader who has enterprise chops, and one who has navigated companies to successful exits on a number of occasions. While it is sad to see the founder being replaced, here’s hoping that the eventual outcome for Sysdig will be a salve to those wounds.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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