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With the appointment of Sam Ramji as CEO, the open source Cloud Foundry Foundation has its first leader.
The Cloud Foundry Foundation was officially launched on December 9, with the Linux Foundation running the back-end operations. At the time of the Cloud Foundry Foundation's launch, Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the Linux Foundation, noted that the group's leadership would be named at a future point.
"When looking at leaders in the application development space with in-depth cloud and open source knowledge, Sam Ramji naturally surfaced to the top of the list," Zemlin told Datamation. "We're excited about what he brings to bear for the project."
Ramji is perhaps best known in the open source community from his time at Microsoft where he worked from 2004 to 2009. Part of Ramji's role at Microsoft was in dealing with the open source community, in an attempt to extend an olive branch from Microsoft. In a keynote at the OSCON 2008 conference, Ramji came on stage in a Firefox t-shirt, and was greeted by some jeering from the audience.
As to why Ramji will hold the title of CEO at the Cloud Foundry Foundation, as opposed to being the Executive Director, which is the more common title used in Foundations, Ramji said it has to do with commitment.
"It points at our commitment to run this as the fastest growing software startup on the planet," Ramji told Datamation.
As CEO, Ramji said that his core responsibilities include growing the ecosystem of developers and apps for Cloud Foundry as well as expanding membership. The Cloud Foundry PaaS project originally started out as an open source project at VMware in 2011 and was later spun out to sister company Pivotal.
Multiple big name IT vendors are already members of the Cloud Foundry Foundation including EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Pivotal, SAP and VMware, who are all platinum members of the Foundation. All told, there are over 40 member companies in the Cloud Foundry Foundation already.
Ramji said that another key goal for him as CEO is in demonstrating commercial success for the work the Cloud Foundry community does. IBM, HP and Pivotal all already have commercial Cloud Foundry distributions.
Joining Ramji in leading the Cloud Foundry Foundation is a board of directors, which initially includes John Roese from EMC, Bill Hilf from HP, Ajay Patel from VMware, Christopher Ferris from IBM, Sanjay Patil from SAP, Nicholas Weaver from Intel, Rob Mee from Pivotal, Marco Hochstrasser from Swisscomm and Bart Copeland from ActiveState.
"The Board will take on a typical role for a startup, which is high level strategic and financial oversight," Ramji said.
Looking forward, Ramji sees a few key challenges in his role as CEO as the Cloud Foundry Foundation ramps up.
"The key challenge will be balancing collaboration and competition in the Cloud Foundry ecosystem," Ramji said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist
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