Databricks has a new CEO and an Executive Chairman

Databricks, one of the main commercial companies behind Apache Spark, has appointed Ali Ghodsi as CEO and Ion Stoica has moved up to the position of Executive Chairman. This is a significant move considering the meteoric rise of Apache Spark in last 2 years.

Databricks as a company continues to remain more focused on offering Apache Spark based cloud clusters and interactive workspace for engineers and data scientists. Besides, it is one of the main promoters of Spark Summit held twice a year. Majority of the committers in Apache Spark continue to be from Databricks.

Ion Stoica is also a professor in the EECS Department at UC Berkeley and a co-director of the AMPLab. At AMPLab, he is leading two other high wire projects in open source community namely Apache Mesos and Tachyon. Besides, Ion is also the CTO of Conviva, a company he co-founded in 2006 for large scale video distribution. Ion also serves on the advisory board of Blue Data, another niche big data infrastructure software firm.

With this leadership movement, speculations of IPO for Databricks have started rising in the industry circles. However, besides the IPO possibility, there is a likely chance that Databricks has got some serious customer traction and the CEO position has become all the more critical. In the new role, it is expected that Ion will not only lead Databricks and Spark ecosystem but also may be able to spend more time on the wider big data ecosystem projects he is nurturing. Cloudera had made a similar move a few years back when Mike Olson had moved on to the Chief Strategy Officer position and we all know what a great influence and leader he has been in that position so far. It would be interesting to watch how Databricks builds up on the new leadership paradigm while taking along the the vast pool of talent like Zaharia, Xin, Wendell et al along in the stride.