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January 21, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 9:48am

Open source database player MariaDB appoints Michael Howard as CEO

News: Database analytics and security will be key for the new CEO.

By James Nunns

MariaDB is kicking of the year with a new CEO and millions in investment.

The open-source relational database company appointed Michael Howard to the CEO position, following the departure of Patrik Sallner who is now the CEO of OpusCapita.

The start-up also revealed that it has raised $9m in funding from Intel Capital and California Technology Venture and brings the funding raised by the company to just over $40m. In addition to the appointment of Howard, Michael Widenius, who originally created MySQL and MariaDB has been appointed as CTO.

Howard, who has previous roles at the likes of Oracle as the lead for the data warehousing development team, he also brings experience on the security side of databases having been the CEO at Ingrian Networks.

It’s this experience that he will be hoping to bring to MariaDB in order to build the areas such as database security and analytics.

Speaking to CBR, Howard said that open source has a new mandate, especially for infrastructure.

"In today’s world cyber security, hacking, different regulations that are enacted, privacy, Botnets and Malware – it’s just crazy out there," said Howard.

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Howard went on to say that, "there’s no way a single company can cope with those threats," which is where open source and MariaDB can come in to help.

While there are much greater security demands, there is also a greater need for analytics, Howard said: "The wild west is happening on the security side so far but at the same time there is more rigor and necessity for analytics. In today’s world the head of sales cannot come into the boardroom and say he went to some golf game to determine what the forecast is.

"At the same time the security to process analytics endeavours has to be a necessary symbioses of sorts."

It is this symbiosis which Howard will be hoping to push more from MariaDB as it goes forward.

Looking forward, Howard said that part of his job will be to put more work into expanding the company’s marketing efforts.

The importance of this is so that what the company is doing with the community can be understood by the C-Suite.

With this in mind, he explained to CBR how the $9m in funding will be spent.

Howard said: "The $9m is a stepping stone a greater goal, the first is making sure the brand and awareness of the brand gets out, so part of the funding is starting to get marketing organisation together.

"Secondly it is enlarging and building up the field and customer success organisation because that’s obviously very important. The third element of the funding is to allow us to execute the vision for security and OLAP features."

OLAP stands for Online Analytical Processing which performs multidimensional analysis of business data and provides the capability for complex calculations in addition to trend analysis and sophisticated data modelling.

Howard said that he is planning to continue the "hockey stick" growth that the company has been seeing in recent times, while a move to the U.S could be on the cards as it looks to become a more U.S-based company.


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