Some weeks ago I've resigned from Sun Microsystems, where I worked as a MySQL Telecom Sales Engineer. Beginning July 13th I will take on a new role in the MySQL ecosystem, as "Project Manager and COO" for Monty Program Ab.
Since it can be argued I'm moving to a competitor, and I was working in a customer facing role, upon resigning I had to immediately return my computer, phone, etc to Sun, and my login accounts, including email, were terminated. I've gotten some comments about this (like: "Is there no trust in the world anymore?" and "How can you treat anyone like that?") and I cannot stress this enough: This is normal, I expected it, indeed brought it to my managers attention myself. If nothing else, think of it this way: This precaution also protects me from any misunderstandings and/or false accusations. Besides, starting your vacation by returning your laptop and removing your email account isn't the worst thing to happen to you - try it, you'll love it :-)
This had in any case the side effect that I was not able to honor a long standing tradition of sending a goodbye and thank you note to a certain internal mailing list, because I cannot do that from my private email. (Also asking others to forward a mail proved to be problematic/sensitive in many ways.)
Hence, I'm posting the email I wrote here instead, so that both my former collagues and other MySQL community members can read it alike:
It's been a crazy few months behind us, and me, just like many others had been wondering what to do next, at least in those teams that would be affected by the ongoing re-org. Many people have asked me whether I'm planning to go with Monty, and I always answered that out of all the options I can think of, that is not on my list. Let's face it: My Maria engine and MySQL Server skills aren't that great, I said.
So it is a surprise to myself at least that starting July 13 I will start as "Project Manager and COO" for Monty Program Ab. My mission is to be Monty's right hand man in running the company, I'll try to introduce some project management rigor to the team, and I'll be doing sales and partner management (together with Ethan in the US) ie building up the Open Database Alliance. I've been told that my unique strengths for this position was that I can blog in English, speak in Swedish, and understand Monty's Hacking Business Model thinking.
Since it can be argued that I'm moving to a competitor, I have yesterday returned my laptop and other gear to Sun and will now take a vacation. (Lest there be no doubt: This is normal procedure and was expected, and I'm enjoying the vacation :-) This email is sent from my private email henrik.ingo [at] avoinelama.fi where you can reach me in the future.
Joining MySQL was a dream job for me in itself, and being an SE in the telco team especially. For me it was a perfect combination of being both social and technical, being challenging but without much responsibilities :-) It was not easy to let go, but I feel that if I do well in my new role, it will benefit all of us, even those who will stay working with Cluster and/or within Oracle. And btw, I think Cluster is superior technology and Oracle knows that - you will have a bright future. Oh, needless to say I'm of course grateful to Vinay and Joe for the opportunity to work in the team and I hope the opportunities that weren't closed yet will be - I have some personal pride in them invested.
That was the part honoring the tradition of writing to [mailing-list] when you leave. I'd like to also make some comments related to things I've read recently on mailing lists. Note that these are just personal observations and I'm not yet speaking on behalf of Monty Program Ab.
Strictly technically Monty Program is of course a competitor to Sun. On the other hand, Monty has a clear strategy, which includes not growing infinitely. So in the best case Monty Program will in the next few years have revenues of a few millions per year, while Sun (Oracle) will have MySQL revenues of a few hundred millions per year. Whether one wants to see these two entities as competitors or rather complementing each other, is imho pretty much a matter of attitude. Btw, if you are ever worried of what Monty is trying to do, just call him (or me), he is usually quite open about his plans.
There was some debate on a call on whether, and why not, Sun had been invited to the Open Database Alliance, which was co-announced by Monty and Peter Zaitsev. Let me re-assure you that there were many other parties (just check out planet.mysql.com) that weren't "invited" either, but that are joining it anyway. The Alliance was not formally organized when announced, for the very purpose of gathering input from other interested parties first. I understand that Sun may choose not to join the Alliance, but as both Sun and Oracle are providers of Open Source database technology, let me assure you that there shouldn't be any reason to speculate about "not being invited" - in fact, any such discussion speaks more about the situation in Sun rather than what is happening in the Community. Btw, it seems the first plans of an entity like the Alliance were suggested by Paul McCullagh long before Monty had even left Sun.
So there shouldn't be any reason to be too shocked about normal evolution taking place.
So once again, thank you all, and let's stay in touch and continue working together!
PS: Seems like I'll be at OSCon in July.
Also, if you read my previous blog post you'll realise that these two are related in the sense that I upgraded my blog and general online presence to be more available and social in my new role, so don't hesitate to connect!