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October 23, 2019

CEOs Shake it All About as SAP, Mitel, Datastax Honchos All Move On

CEOs play musical chairs across the tech sector

By CBR Staff Writer

The CEO merry-go-round has been in full swing this week, with SAP’s ex-chief executive Bill McDermott announcing late Tuesday (a few short weeks after stepping down from SAP’s helm) that he will take over as CEO at ServiceNow – the IT service management and SaaS giant – this year.

Jeff Miller, of ServiceNow’s board of directors, said he was “thrilled” at the appointment: “Bill will further enhance ServiceNow’s momentum and reputation as a digital workflows leader committed to customer success, and as a preferred strategic partner enabling enterprise digital transformation.”

(ServiceNow’s outgoing CEO, John Donahoe, will take over at Nike).

SAP, which has replaced McDermott with board members Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein, is not the only tech firm to be having a leadership shake up.

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UcaaS heavyweight Mitel also recently lost veteran CEO Rich McBee, who this week announced that he would be taking over as chief exec. at Riverbed; the Thoma Bravo-owned wide area network (WAN) performance specialist. (Mitel’s replaced him with former Polycom CEO Mary T. McDowell).

See also: Mitel’s CEO on Hot Yoga, UCaaS, Elon Musk and Going Private

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo’s founder Orlando Bravo said, “Rich McBee has the ideal skills and experience to lead Riverbed through this next phase of growth while driving operational excellence. We are fully committed to Riverbed’s success, and look forward to continuing to deliver great value to Riverbed’s customers and partners, and maximizing the Company’s full potential in a $20 billion total addressable market.”

Datastax’s CEO Billy Bosworth has also bowed out. He told customers of the open source Apache Cassandra specialist that “privately, I was asking myself all the same hard questions I was asking of every other area in the company.  Was I, as CEO, going to give us maximal effectiveness in our next phase? After many deep discussions with our co-founder, Jonathan, and the board, we all agreed that we wanted a new perspective to execute our vision.”

He is set to be replaced by former Apigee CEO and Google VP Chet Kapoor, in what looks like a coup for the company. Datastax has long been rumoured to be pursuing an IPO and Kapoor has pedigree on that front, having taken API management firm Apigee public before its acquisition by Google.

See also: It’s Official: Women Tech Leaders are Getting Paid More than Men

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