MariaDB Raises New Money, Gets New CEO

Sean Michael

Updated · Jan 21, 2016

MariaDB Corporation, the lead commercial sponsor behind the open source MariaDB database, started 2016 off with a bang, appointing new CEO Michael Howard and CTO Monty Widenius and announcing $9 million in equity financing from Intel Capital and California Technology Ventures.

MariaDB Corporation started off as a fork of the open source MySQL database. MySQL, originally created by Widenius, became one of the most popular databases in the world, helping to enable the LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) stack that was the foundation of the early Web era.

Sun Microsystems acquired MySQL AB, the commercial company behind the open source database, for $1 billion back in 2008. Widenius wasn't happy at Sun and left in 2009. Sun was then acquired by Oracle in 2010.

Over the years mainstream Linux vendors have become increasingly dissatisfied with Oracle's MySQL, which has led to the increased adoption of MariaDB in enterprise Linux deployments.

The MariaDB Corporation wasn't born until 2013. It is actually the renamed SkySQL, which got its start in 2010 as a commercial support organization for MariaDB.

“MariaDB's success as an open source technology goes hand-in-hand with its growing popularity in the commercial market,” Widenius said in a statement. “As part of the MariaDB team, I will be able to create innovative data management capabilities more quickly, and ensure these are open and accessible to the global development community by continuing the close collaboration with the MariaDB Foundation.”

While Widenius is obviously no stranger to MariaDB, new CEO Howard has spent his career in management. He worked at Oracle from 1996 to 2000 as the VP of Data Warehousing and Integration Technologies. He was the chief marketing officer at Greenplum from 2012 to 2013, and most recently served as the CEO of SaaS application vendor C9 Inc from 2013 to 2015.

“The breadth of MariaDB's customer base and user community is strong validation that open, enterprise-grade products are the future of the database market,” Howard said in a statement.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Apps Today and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

  • Data Management
  • News
  • Sean Michael
    Sean Michael

    Sean Michael is a writer who focuses on innovation and how science and technology intersect with industry, technology Wordpress, VMware Salesforce, And Application tech. TechCrunch Europas shortlisted her for the best tech journalist award. She enjoys finding stories that open people's eyes. She graduated from the University of California.

    Read next