- Cloud startup DigitalOcean, a small-but-popular alternative to Amazon Web Services, announced Thursday that it hired Barry Cooks as its new CTO.
- Cooks joins DigitalOcean after serving as a vice president of R&D at VMware, and says that he was drawn to the company because of the platform’s simplicity and the engineering team’s passion for its work.
- As CTO, Cooks hopes to drive more engagement, and transition DigitalOcean to providing more advanced services to developers.
DigitalOcean, a smaller-but-popular alternative to the market-leading Amazon Web Services cloud, announced Thursday that it has hired VMware veteran Barry Cooks as its CTO.
Cooks joins DigitalOcean after serving as vice president of R&D of cloud operations products at VMware. At DigitalOcean, Cooks will oversee the company’s product direction and development. In his over-20-year career in tech, Cooks has also worked at Virtual Instruments and Sun Microsystems.
"I felt lucky to work with companies big and small," Cooks told Business Insider. "The [DigitalOcean] team won me over really quickly and that was because of the passion of the team. I got to spend time with the engineering folks there, and I was impressed with the level of passion. They’re all wanting to solve this problem."
DigitalOcean, founded in 2011, has raised $198.6 million from venture capital investors, including well-known firm Andreessen Horowitz. The company tells Business Insider that it’s on a annualized run rate of $225 million — a measure of how much revenue it expects to generate over the next 12 months if current conditions hold. The company declined to comment on its private market valuation, which was last said to be $683 million in 2015.
Before joining the company, Cooks became familiar with DigitalOcean via his previous role at VMware, and he was surprised at how simple it was to use. And through his connections in the open source community, where DigitalOcean is especially popular, he found out about the role.
“Barry’s leadership will be key as we continue to serve these developers and address the growing needs of small and midsize businesses, all while upholding the highest levels of simplicity, community and support in the industry," DigitalOcean CEO Mark Templeton said in a statement.
At DigitalOcean, Cooks looks forward to bringing his enterprise experience to work on technology that gets closer to developers. He hopes to drive more developer engagement, and transition DigitalOcean from so-called infrastructure-as-a-service to a platform-as-a-service provider.
In other words, he wants DigitalOcean to move from focusing mainly on the most basic, underlying cloud services — like virtual servers and cloud storage — and up to providing more robust tools for software developers. At companies like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, those services often manifest as managed databases or other backend services.
"One of my goals is to really drive the team to spend even more time hanging out with the developer community and see what are some of the problems they’re struggling with," Cooks said.
Late last year, DigitalOcean also added Jeff Giannetti as chief customer officer, Anthony Ricco as chief marketing officer, and Mike Cristinziano as senior vice president of strategy and corporate development.
"DO is growing really fast," Cooks said. "The strength is how loyal and passionate the developer community is about DO. I think DO has nailed the infrastructure problem in a pretty unique way for developers."
- Amazon Web Services is experimenting with a new way to charge customers that makes it look a lot like an old-school tech company
- An influential group sponsored by the Silicon Valley tech titans warns that efforts are underway to ‘undermine the integrity of open source’
- Amazon Web Services is bigger than its next 4 competitors combined as cloud became a $70 billion market last year
Source: Business Insider