Birst Appoints Former Jive Exec Jay Larson as New CEO

Larson has logged more than 25 years in the software industry and has spent a full decade in bringing SaaS applications to market.

Cloud-service business intelligence provider Birst revealed April 22 that it has appointed former Jive Software and SuccessFactors executive Jay Larson as its new chief executive officer.

The San Francisco-based software-as-a-service provider's co-founder and current CEO, Brad Peters, is transitioning to the new roles of board chairman and chief product officer as Larson takes controls of day-to-day operations.

This is Larson's first CEO job. He has logged more than 25 years in the software industry and has spent a full decade in bringing SaaS applications to market, which are precisely the attributes for which Birst was looking.

Larson most recently served as president of Worldwide Field Operations at Jive Software, following his role as vice president of Worldwide Field Operations for SuccessFactors. During his tenure at SuccessFactors, revenue more than tripled from about $100 million to $350 million, leading up to its acquisition by SAP for $3.4 billion in December 2011.

"I was a customer of Birst. That's how I became familiar with the company," Larson told eWEEK. "This is very much a partnership between Brad and myself. Brad is going to continue to drive all things product and will continue to be heavily involved in everything strategic. We think the combination of one plus one equals four."

Birst's enterprise-caliber Business Intelligence platform was developed specifically for cloud distribution. The company engineered the platform with its own automated data warehouse and a rich set of analytics tools to give relevant business meaning to all types and sizes of data.

Ten-year-old Birst positions its BI as delivering "accurate, actionable content in an intuitive, self-service environment." It enables users to combine data from different source systems to get answers to business concerns in real time. When the questions change, the service adapts quickly to the new request.

Birst customers include American Express, Aruba, Cisco Systems, Citrix, Jive, Kellogg's, OpenText, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and Samsung. The company competes with SAS, Oracle, Cognos, QlikView, BusinessObjects and Tableau, among others.

"Bringing Jay into the organization allows me to focus on what I am most passionate about: building amazing products that extend our leadership in the BI market," Peters told eWEEK. "With the addition of Jay, Birst will have the best of both worlds: unsurpassed product vision and development capabilities, and also world-class leadership to address our operational and go-to-market issues."

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...