Piston Cloud Appoints Jim Morrisroe, Open Source and Enterprise Software Veteran, As CEO

jim-morrisroePiston Cloud Computing announced the appointment of Jim Morrisroe at its new Chief Executive Officer on Monday. Morrisroe takes over as CEO from cofounder Joshua McKenty, who will become the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Morrisroe brings to Piston Cloud over 20 years of experience in high growth technology companies that include VMware acquisition Zimbra, Storigen and Cemaphore Systems. Morrisroe’s appointment as CEO allows Piston to pursue a more aggressive business development strategy by freeing up McKenty to focus on product development and his responsibilities on the OpenStack governance board.

Morrisroe was previously a Vice President and General Manager at Zimbra, where he led the team’s acquisition by VMware after its spinout from Yahoo. Given that Zimbra delivers open source commercial email, calendar and collaboration software, Morrisroe brings to Piston Cloud extensive experience in open source software and its commercialization. In the early days of Zimbra, Morrisroe built a global team that grew the company’s revenue from $0 to a revenue rate such that it was acquired by Yahoo for $350 million in 2009. Prior to Zimbra, Morrisroe was VP of Worldwide Sales at Cemaphore Systems as well as VP of Sales at Storigen Systems. Morrisroe brings to Piston Cloud an exemplary track record of growing software sales globally as well as delivering strategic leadership to product and engineering teams.

McKenty remarked on Morrisroe’s addition the Piston Cloud team as follows:

We are extremely excited to welcome Jim to Piston Cloud. Not only is he a natural fit with the executive team, but his deep experience in open source and enterprise software will help us take the company to the next level.

Meanwhile, Morrisroe remarked on Piston Cloud’s positioning with respect to the enterprise as follows:

Private cloud and OpenStack are systematically transforming all aspects of enterprise information technology and Piston Cloud is the clear leader in the market for commercial OpenStack. OpenStack and private cloud software is emerging as a massive market and is disrupting billions of dollars that is today spent on legacy technologies. Piston Cloud is extremely well positioned to help lead customers through this transformation. I look forward to driving the continued growth and development of the company.

Morrisroe positions Piston Cloud as the “clear leader” amongst commercial OpenStack vendors. With McKenty freed up to focus on product development initiatives, Morrisroe’s characterization of Piston Cloud as the leader amongst the cottage industry of commercial OpenStack vendors may not be far off the mark, particularly given McKenty’s deep knowledge of the OpenStack product and its roadmap by virtue of his tenure at NASA and intimate knowledge of the OpenStack foundation. In comparison to vendors such as Red Hat and Rackspace, however, Piston has traditionally lacked competitiveness with respect to support. In an interview with Cloud Computing Today, Morrisroe mentioned the possibility of Piston Cloud’s partnerships with world class support vendors as its customer base expands and continues to grow.

Morrisroe’s appointment as CEO is likely to be a huge boon for the company because it frees McKenty from his company and OpenStack responsibilities and transfers the responsibility for sales to an industry veteran with a proven track record of growing open source software sales globally. Meanwhile, Piston continues to focus on productizing OpenStack in ways that render its version appealing for enterprise deployments. Expect to hear more news from Piston on the product and business development fronts in the next few months as the company strives to live up to its billing as the undisputed leader amongst commercial OpenStack vendors.

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