Docker’s new CEO sees gargantuan alternatives forward
Earlier this week, Docker made the shock announcement that its long-time CEO Ben Golub was stepping down and that former Concur CEO Steve Singh was moving into his sneakers. Whereas this transfer absolutely got here as a shock to many, it was truly within the making for some time.
Singh informed me that he first talked to Golub and Docker founder Solomon Hykes final June, throughout the firm’s DockerCon developer convention in Seattle. “They wanted to meet with somebody who’d built a substantive company,” Singh informed me. On the time, although, Hykes and Golub have been on the lookout for a board member, not a brand new CEO. Just a few months later, Singh joined the board. “As I look at boards, what drives me is: do I like the opportunity the company is pursuing,” Singh stated, and added that he additionally needed to just like the group, too, in fact.
“A small handful of months after I joined the Docker board, Ben broached the prospect of me becoming the CEO,” Singh recollects. On the time, although, he wasn’t within the place and as an alternative informed Golub that he didn’t see the necessity as a result of, in his view, Golub was doing an excellent job. Golub clearly didn’t let that thought relaxation and some months later, he once more method Singh. “This led to an in-depth conversation because I had the good fortune of scaling a business before,” stated Singh, who lastly accepted the place after the board approached him, too.
“The opportunity is gargantuan,” Singh stated about Docker’s prospects. He famous that Docker is unquestionably a special form of firm than Concur, however he additionally sees a lot of similarities. Concur’s shoppers, too, have been enterprise prospects, and that’s additionally the form of buyer Docker is aiming for (although in his definition, any company consumer falls into the “enterprise” class, regardless of the scale).
Singh additionally careworn that he likes the neighborhood facet of Docker, which not too long ago launched its new open-source initiative. Docker’s relationship with its neighborhood — and the open-source neighborhood at giant — positively had its ups and downs over time. “Can we do a better job for our community? Of course,” Singh stated.
Trying forward, Singh says that he at the moment has three goals for the corporate: proceed to innovate, each in open supply and within the merchandise it’s constructing on high of that; put money into gross sales and innovation for enterprise prospects; and construct an excellent firm tradition. He was fast to level out that he doesn’t imagine the earlier management didn’t do that, however that these are merely his priorities going ahead.
The principle emphasis right here, although, is unquestionably on getting extra enterprise prospects to enroll in Docker’s paid merchandise. “Solomon and Ben created a foundation that is changing the enterprise,” stated Singh. “We have 400 customers today, so we are already servicing enterprise customers today. We will accelerate our innovations for enterprise customers and our ability to reach enterprises with more sales people.”
Singh is becoming a member of Docker at a time when it’s underneath strain from new opponents, particularly within the rising ecosystem across the Google-incubated Kubernetes venture. He doesn’t appear to see this as a menace, although. In his view, in a market that’s as giant because the container-as-a-service market, you’ll at all times get a number of gamers vying for comparable prospects. In the long run, that competitors is nice for everybody. He additionally careworn that Docker already permits you to combine and match its companies and instruments with these from different distributors.
So in the intervening time, it doesn’t appear like we must always anticipate any dramatic adjustments in Docker’s technique — at the least not within the brief time period. The corporate was already on a path that targeted strongly on increasing its attain within the enterprise. It’ll solely proceed to take action (probably with an expanded gross sales and advertising group) whereas additionally specializing in its open-source choices on the identical time.
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