IT Automation companies Puppet Labs and Chef invest in new CFOs

Some things  I hear before the press release and hearing something in a bar is not acceptable to write a blog entry.  On Nov 29th I was sitting in a bar and Bill Koefoed said he had a new job and was leaving Microsoft.  Bill’s latest job was CFO at Skype, and he had a new job at a company called Puppet.  Sitting in a bar with a bunch of other ski friends he was used to people saying “Puppet?  What’s that?”  When Bill told me, I said awesome Luke is great.  Scott and Nigel too.  You joined a great team.  It’s a two man race against Chef who just hired another Microsoft CFO.

Now that the news is public I can reference the public disclosures.  AllthingsDigital referenced Bill’s job change.

Top Microsoft Finance Exec Koefoed Departs for Puppet Labs

One of the voices I always enjoyed over the years at the start of Microsoft earnings calls, Bill Koefoed, will be leaving the software giant after eight years to take a job as CFO of Puppet Labs. Most recently, he was working as CFO in the Skype and then in the marketing and business development unit. But Koefoed is perhaps best known, as I called him, as “Microsoft investor relations dude-in-chief.” Puppet Labs develops IT automation software, with almost $46 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, True Ventures, VMware and others.

Opscode CFO announcement is here in GigaOm.

Opscode, the company behind the popular Chef configuration management tool set, has a new name (it’s Chef, duh); a new CFO in Microsoft alum Curt Anderson and $32 million in new Series D funding to make the most of that new identity and to promote itself as an IT management “platform.”

Living in Seattle (Chef HQ) and making trips to Portland (Puppet HQ) it is hard not to run into Chef and Puppet employees especially since I write articles on DevOps for GigaOm.

Here is the article I wrote on Continuous Delivery and Devops sponsored by Opscode last year.

Continuous delivery and the world of devops

 Oct. 1, 2012
This report underwritten by: Opscode.
1Executive Summary

The advent of online businesses has created new opportunities and fierce competition. Companies want to get their products and services to market as fast as they can, and releases that occur in periods of months or years are no longer competitive. As a result, the pattern of how to release software is changing from large, infrequent releases of new software to small releases that occur very frequently, as shown in Figure 1. The ultimate goal is the continuous delivery of software updates.

Figure 1. The changing pattern of software releases


This paper explains the world of continuous delivery and its underlying philosophy, devops. Continuous delivery is an automated pipeline constructed with various technologies that allows you to ensure that your code is always ready to be released. It does not mean that you have to release every change you implement: That is a business decision. It does mean that when you choose to release, your code is ready, fully functional, and fully tested.

In conjunction with the technology is the emerging devops methodology, which is an outgrowth of the agile movement. This movement stresses collaboration among groups that have often found themselves at odds, in particular development teams and operations teams. This increased level of collaboration blurs the boundaries between infrastructure and code. Looking at application code and infrastructure holistically rather than as separate disciplines and treating them the same in terms of automated delivery provides compelling benefits in terms of time to market and overall stability.