Luke Kanies, founder and longtime CEO of 11-year-old Puppet, announced today that he’s stepping down.
Sanjay Mirchandani, who joined the company in May as its first-ever COO, will take his place. Kanies will remain on Puppet’s board and is promising to “stay engaged for the long term,” as he puts it in a blog entry today.
But Kanies adds that he’ll stop being a full-time employee once the transition to Mirchandani is complete. He also notes that this transition was part of the plan all along.
Even as Puppet grew — the Portland, Oregon-based company now has about 460 employees — Kanies continued to have a strong hand in operations. But “the opportunities and challenges the company is facing now, though, are far from what I love to do most, and far from my core skills,” he writes. Mirchandani brings big-company experience. He came to Puppet from VMware and previously worked at EMC and Microsoft.
Part of Mirchandani’s role has been to help Puppet “maintain an authentic relationship with the user of the product but also build a strategic relationship with the overall business,” Kanies told SDxCentral in an interview last month. In the blog entry, Kanies also notes that Mirchandani will help expand Puppet’s international sales force.