Aligning with a Market in Transition: A Conversation with Incoming CEO Bob Walmsley
Five years after co-founding NuoDB and growing the business, Barry Morris is taking on the role of executive chairman. Bob Walmsley, former executive vice president of Sales and Services, is the new president and CEO of NuoDB. In this discussion with Parna Sarkar-Basu, Bob shares his plans and priorities to drive growth and enhance customer success.
What are your goals for the first 90 days?
The key goal is to understand how we can apply our resources to create as much leverage for our customers and market as possible. According to IDC, the database market is a $40 billion market in transition. Think of leverage as ways we can make our customers successful, get the largest distribution of our product and the most exposure for the company – with a limited set of resources. This market is transitioning, it’s a stampede towards the cloud. It’s all about how we take advantage of every opportunity possible so we can take a fair share of this market.
How does your experience in sales position you for this role?
I have had an enormous amount of customer and prospect interaction that allows me to understand what our customer requirements are, what our prospects look like and need. I understand things from an outside-in perspective.
How will you measure success?
Our success is based on our ability to provide customer value. That is measured in customer deployments. Also in reduction of time to market for our customers’ applications. Thirdly, differentiated offerings that our customers can provide their customers, based on our architecture.
What do you see as your challenges coming into the CEO position?
It’s transitioning to the next phase of the company where we need to harness all this frenetic energy that a startup has and prioritize where we spend our time and resources. We need to be sure that every feature we develop is a “has-to-have” for our customers right now. We have to ensure we continue to find the very best talent. We are growing at a significant pace, and we need to find the very best talent to continue this differentiation. We are hiring in North America as well as in Europe. We just opened a development center in Dublin – our EMEA hub – to accelerate product development and support our global customers.
The labor market is heating up – tell me about your hiring philosophy.
It is a hot market, indeed. We are fortunate in that we have some incredible talent here already – folks who have worked in the database industry for a long time. We’re not limiting our hiring to Boston. We have 85 employees right now. We’re much more focused on talent rather than number of employees. We are looking for people who have had great success in the past. We’ve also had phenomenal success in hiring young people as interns and bringing them along.
How do you plan to maintain NuoDB’s competitive edge?
By ensuring we hire the very best people. By continuing to focus on the differentiation that our patented architecture provides. By fundamentally out-executing our competitors. And also via strategic partnerships that will broaden our reach.
Parna Sarkar-Basu is Senior Director of Corporate Marketing at NuoDB.