October 6, 2021
Rocket Software announced yesterday that Milan Shetti, currently chairman of the company and former vice chairman of Hewlett-Packard, will take over as CEO next month from Andy Youniss, who will step down from day-to-day operations but will remain with the company. he co-founded over 30 years ago.
Youniss co-founded Rocket software in 1990 in the garage of his home near Boston, Massachusetts with a plan to develop and sell tools for IBMthe DB2 database, as it was then called (it was only recently renamed Db2, with the lowercase “b”). Its first product was a resource monitor for IBM’s request management tool, called Rocket / QMF. He formed a partnership with Big Blue in 1994, and the two have been doing business together ever since.
In 2000, Youniss made the first of what would become dozens of acquisitions when he purchased SystemSoft, a software developer located in the same building as Rocket. It continued in 2005 with the acquisition of ServerGraph, a Texas-based developer of reporting and analysis software for backups.
Rocket made the first of a handful of acquisitions in the IBM i space in 2006, when it spent around $ 56 million to acquire Seagull Software, which developed tools for modernizing the GUI and web services for IBM i and mainframe platforms. It followed until 2011 with the acquisition of Aldon, a developer of change management software for IBM i and open systems. In 2012, the company acquired the iCluster business from IBM, which acquired DataMirror and its IBM i-based high availability software in 2007.
In total, the privately-held company has made more than 45 acquisitions over the years, allowing the company to grow to 2,500 employees, or “Rocketeers,” as the company likes to call them, spread across 23 global locations. In 2018, Youniss sold a large portion of the company to Bain Capital Private Equity in a $ 2 billion deal, following rumors the company was soliciting bids.
Shetti joined Rocket in April 2020 and led the company’s Z Systems business unit, one of the company’s three units. Earlier this year, he was named president of the entire company and responsible for overseeing all products in the company’s portfolio. Two other people are presidents of Rocket’s business units, including Chris Wey, who heads the Power Systems unit, and P. Gary Gregory, who heads the Database and Connectivity unit.
Shetti, who holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota, began his IT career in 2000 as a software developer at Sun Microsystems. In 2006, he joined IBRIX, a developer of software-defined storage solutions in the Boston area. He was CEO of IBRIX when it was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2009. Shetti had an almost 11-year career with HP, where he was eventually appointed senior vice president and general manager of the storage business unit and big data from HP.
Shetti will become CEO on November 5, when Youniss will become executive chairman of the company; he will also sit on the board of directors of the company.
“Milan is the right leader for this moment in Rocket’s history and for its future,” Youniss said in a press release. “I have the utmost confidence that under his leadership, Rocket will continue to put our customers and partners first, deliver the innovation and quality that matter, and deliver even more legendary results.” “
Shetti has the backing of Bain, which owns a controlling stake in the company. “Milan is an established technology leader with a solid background in infrastructure management solutions,” Bain CEO Max de Groen (also director of Rocket) said in a press release. “We are confident that his skills and experience will allow Rocket to continue to advance its portfolio of critical business software solutions while strengthening commitment to its customers, employees and business partners.
For his part, Shetti says he’s impressed with the culture Youniss has built at Rocket and its impact on technology.
“The connection Andy has created between Rocket’s core values and the way we serve our customers and partners is what excites me most about leading Rocket into this new era, as we continue to accelerate. modernizing critical systems and solving our customers and partners. “The most pressing and technical challenges,” Shetti said in a press release.
With a bit of luck Jungle Computing can follow Shetti’s schedule in the coming weeks or months and ask him what this transition means for Rocket’s many IBM i customers.
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