Cloudera Names New CEO

Cloudera announced that co-founder Mike Olson is exiting his CEO position to become chairman and chief strategy officer, as Tom Reilly takes over as CEO.

Cloudera, a provider of Hadoop solutions for the enterprise, announced a change in leadership, naming Tom Reilly as its new CEO while co-founder and former CEO Mike Olson moves to assume the roles of chief strategy officer (CSO) and chairman of the Cloudera board of directors.

The executive role changes will go into effect July 8.

Reilly joins Cloudera from Hewlett-Packard, where he served as the vice president and general manager of enterprise security. Prior to HP, Reilly served as CEO of enterprise security company ArcSight, an early innovator in SIEM (security, incident and event manager) technology. Under Reilly's leadership ArcSight became a leading platform for enterprise security intelligence adopted by public and private organizations globally. He led ArcSight through a successful initial public offering and subsequent sale to HP in 2010.

He previously served as vice president of business information services for IBM, following the acquisition of master data management company Trigo Technologies, where he had served as CEO.

Reilly currently serves as a board member for Jive Software, Ombud and ThreatStream and will also join the Cloudera board of directors. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

"With over 30 years of enterprise software experience, I am pleased to welcome Tom to the Cloudera family," Olson said in a statement. "We have long set the pace for the commercial adoption of Hadoop, and with Tom's leadership and focus, Cloudera will accelerate the pace of innovation, continue to deliver growth and extend our market leadership." He added that the announcement "reinforces Cloudera's commitment and investment in the Hadoop open-source community and the continued success of open-source initiatives."

In a June 18 blog post, Olson wrote, "When we started the company five years ago, almost no one had heard of Apache Hadoop. Big data, to the extent the term was used at all, was strictly a consumer Internet phenomenon. No other enterprise vendor believed the platform mattered. We did, of course, and we set out to make that true.

"We've engaged closely with the open-source community, worked hard to advance the state of the art in the platform and crafted a business strategy that allows us to grow quickly and to build a great company for the long term," he continued.

In Olson's new role, he will focus on Cloudera's market strategy, open-source involvement, engineering alignment and direct engagement with customers to ensure that Cloudera continues to deliver Hadoop solutions to market.

"I am extremely excited to join an organization that is transforming an industry and enabling a new class of analytic applications that were previously unaffordable or unattainable with legacy approaches," Reilly said in a statement. "As the addressable Hadoop market continues to grow and Cloudera positions itself to lead that market with its world-class product suite, I look forward to ensuring solid execution and continued high growth."

Olson wrote in his blog post that Cloudera aims to "stay independent and to lead the market for many years to come." While the big data and analytics arena has seen some degree of consolidation, Olson makes it clear he expects Cloudera to continue to grow on its own, noting that, "Tom led ArcSight through its IPO to industry leadership in mission-critical, bet-the-business security. He knows the enterprise. He's a been-there, done-that executive. He's run very successful enterprise software companies at global scale."

Olson also said he is most proud of the people Cloudera has hired. "In every single department and at every level of the company, we aim to bring on the very best and to give them room to do great things," Olson said. "That strategy has always applied to our executive leadership team. Last year, we added Alan Saldich from Riverbed to head up marketing, Peter Cooper-Ellis from VMware to run engineering, and Jim Frankola out of IBM, Ariba and Yodlee, as CFO [chief financial officer]. Our goal—my goal—has been to hire world-class people at the right time so that we could take a disproportionate share of the enormous opportunity."