Cloudera Appoints Hortonworks Founder Robert Bearden as CEO

Christian Wylonis
Rob Bearden

Rob Bearden, CEO of Cloudera

Cloudera, the enterprise data cloud company, named Robert Bearden as its new president and chief executive. Bearden was co-founder and CEO of Hortonworks, a competitor of the company, which merged with Cloudera in January of last year.

The merger of Cloudera and Hortonworks, valued at a combined $5.2 billion when the merger was announced, brought together two of the biggest players offering Hadoop open source software, and positioned the combined entity to compete against Amazon Web Services.

Tom Reilly, Cloudera’s CEO following the merger, stepped down in July and Cloudera’s board chariman Martin Cole was appointed interim CEO. Reilly had been Cloudera's chief executive since 2013 and took the company public in 2017. Shortly after Reilly's departure, Cloudera agreed to add two board members appointed by activist investor Carl Icahn after he disclosed a 12.6% ownership stake in the company.

Bearden joined software company Docker as CEO in 2019 for a few months, but left in November after Docker sold its enterprise business to Mirantis. Prior to co-founding Hortonworks, Bearden serviced as president and COO of SpringSource, a leading provider of open-source developer tools, until its acquisition by VMWare in 2009. He was also an Entrepreneur in Residence at Benchmark before joining SpringSource.

Cole will be retiring from Cloudera and current director Nicholas Graziano will become chairman of the board. Graziano has been Portfolio Manager of Icahn Capital since February 2018.

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