March 19, 2010

Vertica update

I caught up with Jerry Held (Chairman) and Dave Menninger (VP Marketing) of Vertica for a chat yesterday. The immediate reason for the call was that a competitor had tipped me off to the departure of Vertica CEO Ralph Breslauer, which of course raises a host of questions. Highlights of the call included:

NDA parts of the conversation also gave me the impression that Vertica is moving forward just as eagerly as its peers. I.e., I didn’t uncover any reason to think that Ralph’s departure is a sign of trouble, of the company being shopped, etc.

On the other hand, I didn’t uncover any other clear reason for Ralph’s departure either. The party line is that Ralph left for “personal reasons”. It was his decision to leave. He did a great job while at Vertica. Basically, Vertica is saying that, even though all was going swimmingly, Ralph just up and quit, leaving some very valuable unvested stock options on the table at what had been his first CEO gig ever.

Contacting Ralph didn’t add any immediate insight. He responded quickly via a Twitter DM, but was in the airport for a trip to his home country of South Africa, and deferred discussion until after his return.

Incidentally, Infobright and ParAccel have both also had recent CEO turnover. Stated reasons in each case were of the “Right person to lead the next stage of the company’s growth” variety.

Comments

6 Responses to “Vertica update”

  1. VERTICA is on fire!! « BI HELPER / İŞ ZEKASI YARDIMCINIZ on March 19th, 2010 12:55 pm

    [...] Vertica update | DBMS2 — DataBase Management System Services [...]

  2. MD on April 11th, 2010 10:59 pm

    Ralph was not the only one:

    – Omer Trajman, Sr Dir – now at Cloudera
    – Andy Ellicott, Sr Dir – now at Voltdb

    Wondering if we can get someone from Vertica to comment (Vertica: you can be sure your competitors are telling *their* side of the story).

  3. MD on April 11th, 2010 10:59 pm

    Ralph was not the only one:

    – Omer Trajman, Sr Dir – now at Cloudera
    – Andy Ellicott, Sr Dir – now at Voltdb

    Wondering if we can get someone from Vertica to comment (Vertica: you can be sure your competitors are telling *their* side of the story – and yes, I do know VoltDB is a Stonebraker company, but I still chalk it up as a loss to Vertica).

  4. Curt Monash on April 12th, 2010 4:27 am

    Andy basically had Dave Menninger hired over him. Now, I’m not quite clear as to why he moved on before VoltDB turned into a full-time gig, and in particular as to why Vertica didn’t knock itself out to keep both, but so be it.

    Omer had a lot of options as to where he could go. Cloudera was an obvious choice (small company, pre-existing relationship w/ Omer). But a lot of folks, me included, were very high on him.

    I predict that next time Omer changes jobs, it will be to be a CEO or COO.

  5. Curt Monash on April 12th, 2010 4:28 am

    I should add that the “Ralph Breslauer gave up his career to move back to South Africa for strong personal reasons” spin is seeming very credible to me, based on further communication with Ralph and Vertica alike.

  6. Vertica update | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on April 29th, 2010 11:45 pm

    [...] month, Vertica’s CEO Ralph Breslauer quit,* and Vertica made it sound like there would be a new CEO late in April. And indeed, as of [...]

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