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Puppet’s New CEO Tackles Turning Point

Puppet’s new CEO, Yvonne Wassenaar, will tackle a key turning point as the company continues to transition from start-up to full-fledged enterprise in a changing technology environment.

Puppet is a leader in configuration management/infrastructure as code space, but in recent years has struggled to continue to scale its open-source based support model as enterprises continue the shift to cloud. Cloud service providers can leverage open-source tools to provide services directly to their customers, slashing the demand for services that form the main revenue stream for companies like Puppet.

Puppet announced Wassenaar’s appointment on January 29, 2019. Her predecessor, Sanjay Mirchandani, left to take a position as CEO of Commvault. Mirchandani led Puppet through several acquisitions and moved to diversify the company’s suite of products to remain more relevant in the age of cloud, as well as raising $42 million in additional funding.

Wassenaar suggests that she’ll be taking the company in the same direction, saying “you're not going to see any wild or crazy turns to the left or the right in the next year.”

Our Take

Puppet has been quite successful so far, but competition in this space is fierce, and the company is approaching a turning point in the transition to becoming cash-flow positive. Wassenaar knows that she is taking on a big challenge in trying to pivot Puppet’s product offerings while continuing to scale. Info-Tech expects that the next few years will be crucial.

In her former position as CEO of Airwair, Wassenaar ran the drone analytics company until it shut down after exhausting its 118 million in funding. Wassenaar pre-emptively addressed concerns about Puppet’s financial position, saying the company “has never been stronger” and is in a “great position.”

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