DataStax hires Google VP Chet Kapoor as new CEO

Google VP Chet Kapoor has joined DataStax as its new CEO, the company said this week. In an email to employees, outgoing CEO Billy Bosworth said that with Kapoor now at the helm of the company, he will transition out of DataStax over the coming weeks. 

Bosworth said the company began its search for a  new CEO early this year and chose Kapoor out a wide pool of candidates. He and Kapoor have been working closely together to prepare for the transition, Bosworth said. 

The leadership change is part of DataStax’s broader effort to widen its appeal beyond the traditional Cassandra fan base. Bosworth said that he, DataStax co-founder Jonathan Ellis and the company’s board “we all agreed that we wanted a new perspective to execute our vision.” 

Since its founding, DataStax has specialized in delivering commercial support for Apache Cassandra. However, as Tony Baer wrote for ZDNet, Cassandra now competes with cloud offerings like Cosmos DB, Cloud Spanner, and a refashioned DynamoDB. That;s put pressure on DataStax to rethink its strategy.

“We needed a more ambitious, bold approach across the company,” Bosworth wrote in his letter to employees. As part of that effort, DataStax earlier this year launched the Constellation brand, which significantly expands the managed cloud service. 

Kapoor, for his part, spent the last three years as a VP at Google, where he created a five-year plan for bringing AI-powered products to the education sector. He joined Google when the tech giant acquired Apigee, the cross-Cloud API management platform. Kapoor served as Apigee’s CEO and a member of its board of directors, taking the company public before the Google acquisition.  

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