Thursday, 04 November 2021 11:23

Thomas Dohmke succeeds Nat Friedman as GitHub CEO


GitHub today announced a change in the top job with Nat Friedman moving to Chairman Emeritus and former Chief Product Officer Thomas Dohmke stepping up to the CEO role.

Friedman broke the news to GitHub worldwide via an internal memo, joking his new role fulfils his lifelong ambition of having a title in Latin. More seriously, Friedman explained he would be returning to his startup roots.

Friedman said, "every day, millions of developers around the world come to GitHub to transform their ideas into code. Across industries, time zones, skill levels, toolsets, tabs, spaces – being a developer means the next solution to a big problem is just a few keystrokes away. At GitHub, our vision is to be the home for all developers, and for the last three years, I’ve had the privilege of calling GitHub home too. I’ve spent the majority of my life building in open source, and at GitHub I’ve been able to work side-by-side with the passionate, talented team of Hubbers, and our amazing community. Serving this global community of developers as the CEO of GitHub has been the honour of a lifetime.”

"I am incredibly proud of what we have all achieved together. GitHub has gone from a place to store and share code to a complete developer platform. GitHub Actions has become the number one CI service, used by popular open-source projects and enterprises alike. Codespaces and Copilot show us the cloud-native and AI-infused future of software development. Discussions are used by over half of the top 100 open source communities on GitHub and Sponsors is enabling developers to earn millions of dollars for their contributions. Our new products like GitHub Advanced Security and CodeQL, private repo secret scanning, Dependabot, and our public advisory database have helped secure the software supply chain we all depend on.”

Friedman explained Thomas Dohmke "has served developers for decades and played a pivotal role in making the GitHub acquisition a success. He has built software for industries ranging from insurance software and automotive to mobile apps. In 2011, he co-founded HockeyApp to solve his own pain points as a developer. At GitHub, he led the work that made private repositories free for developers and solved hundreds of customer pain points. He has built a roadmap that ensures our customers are getting the features they need with a platform that can support them for years to come. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of GitHub under his leadership.”

Friedman thanked the GitHub community, the GitHub staff, Satya Nadella and Scott Guthrie from GitHub’s parent company, Microsoft.

Dohmke said he is "thrilled to take on the role of CEO to build the next phase of GitHub for our global community of software developers.”

"Leading the home for all developers, working more closely with all of you and the entire GitHub community, is truly a dream fulfilled. I started coding in the late 1980s on a Robotron KC 87 and then on a Commodore 64. I discovered Linux and the open-source community while I was a student at The Technical University of Berlin. I have developed software for all kinds of projects and industries, from insurance software to automotive control systems and mobile apps. It was these mobile app projects that led me to found HockeyApp in 2011, solving some of the pain points that iOS and Android developers saw at the time. Building the best tools for developers has since become the main focus of my daily work.”

Dohmke joined GitHub in 2018 as part of the Microsoft acquisition, alongside Nat Friedman.

“Throughout my time here, I’ve managed several special projects, like our move to make private repos free to all developers, the GitHub Archive Program, and the acquisitions of Dependabot, npm, and Semmle. As Chief Product Officer, I’m proud of the work our teams have done to bring new capabilities to GitHub Codespaces, Issues, Copilot, and many of the 20,000 improvements that we shipped last year. Together, we’ve built a roadmap that will transform the developer experience for open source maintainers and enterprises using GitHub for years to come,” Dohmke said.

"We will remain customer-obsessed, working to support teams of all sizes and projects of all scopes—from students that are just learning to code, small and really big open source projects that span the globe, to the world’s largest enterprises. And of course, we will continue to operate independently as a community, platform, and business. This means that GitHub will retain its developer-first values, distinctive spirit, and open extensibility. We will always support developers in their choice of any language, license, tool, platform, or cloud,” Dohmke said.


Thomas Dohmke recently spoke exclusively with iTWire about the new GitHub Codespaces, GitHub Issues, and GitHub Copilot features announced during GitHub Universe 2021.

Pictured above: Thomas Dohmke, GitHub

Pictured below: Nat Friedman, GitHub (right) and David M Williams, iTWire (left).



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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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