I’m very proud to announce that today Charlie Peters is joining CloudBees as an independent board member.
I first met Charlie back in 2006, at the time of the JBoss acquisition by Red Hat – I was JBoss’ CTO and board member back then. Charlie was officially CFO at Red Hat, but he was also doing much more, taking on a lot of operational activities. JBoss was Red Hat’s first sizable acquisition: Red Hat only had 1,200 employees back then, not anywhere close to the 10,000 it has today, and JBoss had about 200 employees. Not only was it a sizable acquisition, but JBoss had lots of remote offices and remote employees, and, more importantly, the JBoss employees’ culture and background (DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS!) was different from the Linux culture that defined Red Hat back then.
This acquisition could have failed in so many ways and, at times, it really felt like it might. Fast forward a decade later, and the JBoss portfolio is a great success at Red Hat. In fact, it has been the force that extended Red Hat’s DNA beyond solely IT Ops infrastructure and brought to Red Hat a much broader portfolio and vision. Red Hat’s current success in the cloud would not have been possible without the culture and expertise mix that was created through the JBoss acquisition. JBoss has been without any doubt the most strategic acquisition Red Hat made, and its positive influence is still very much at play today.
It took a lot of time, work, patience and trust building to get where the teams are today. And on the Red Hat side, Charlie has been one of the few persons that was instrumental in making this happen. In his calm style, he would always listen and step up to fix problems. If Charlie said he would do something, he would commit to it and deliver. If he didn’t think he could do it, he would be candid and set expectations. That’s how you learn to respect people and decide whether you would want to work with them again. Or not.
We are now in 2017, CloudBees has grown very fast (our five-year revenue CAGR is >75%), and we are bigger than JBoss when it was acquired in revenue and in people (but certainly not in terms of how flamboyant the CEO was!). As we are building our next phase of growth, a number of changes must take place. One of them is to build a strong, competent and diversified board. Charlie perfectly fits with that vision and he has all of my trust. I’m thrilled and honored he accepted to join us.