Tuesday, 23 July 2019 09:32

SAP official Di Donato to be next CEO of SUSE

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Melissa Di Donato: "SUSE is at the cusp of a historic shift as open source software is now a critical part of any thriving enterprise’s core business strategy." Melissa Di Donato: "SUSE is at the cusp of a historic shift as open source software is now a critical part of any thriving enterprise’s core business strategy." Supplied

Germany-based open source company SUSE has appointed former SAP official Melissa Di Donato as its chief executive in a move it claims will mark "the next phase of growth and momentum" for the firm.

A statement from the company said Di Donato had a proven record in sales, business operations and leadership, having been the chief operating officer and chief revenue officer at SAP where she was responsible for global revenue, profit and customer satisfaction.

Di Donato has also held senior executive positions Salesforce and won the 2018 Digital Masters Award for Excellence in Commercial Management. SUSE was acquired by Swedish equity firm EQT in 2018.

She will take over on 5 August from Nils Brauckmann who has led the company for eight years after it was bought by Attachmate in 2010. His tenure has seen continuous expansion, particularly in 2018, which saw the company achieve record-breaking revenues.

“There is no greater honour than to lead SUSE into its next chapter of accelerated growth and corporate development,” the UK-based Di Donato said.

“SUSE is at the cusp of a historic shift as open source software is now a critical part of any thriving enterprise’s core business strategy.

"We are well positioned to emerge as the clear leader of this shift, with our ability to power digital transformation for our customers at their own pace and with agile, enterprise-grade open source solutions, edge to core to cloud.

"What is unmistakable is our unlimited ability to deliver value to our community, customers, partners and shareholders – all of whom have been the bedrock of SUSE’s success. As exciting as SUSE’s growth and innovation have been over the past several years, we are just getting started."

Said Brauckmann: "I am incredibly proud of SUSE’s progress and growth over the last eight years, which has culminated in it securing independent status.

“With this chapter of SUSE’s corporate development complete, I could not be more pleased to hand off the leadership of SUSE to Melissa. She is a proven and dynamic change agent, and many of her achievements have occurred in subscription businesses that exist in high-growth cloud environments. Melissa is someone I am confident will lead SUSE to realise its fullest potential.”

The statement from SUSE said under Di Donato, SUSE would continue to focus on growth and expansion with the backing of growth investor EQT, a leading investment firm with more than 61 billion in raised capital.

"As the company’s new CEO, she will focus on SUSE’s commercial success and innovation in its core business as well as in emerging technologies, both organically and through add-on acquisitions. SUSE’s independence will continue to be aligned with a single-minded focus on delivering what is best for customers and partners, coupled with full control over its own destiny," the statement said.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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