Acquia, rumored to be eyeing an IPO, names new CEO [Nov. 13, 2017]

Submitted on
Monday, November 13, 2017
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Boston Business Journal

Software firm Acquia Inc., among the top candidates to be Boston's next public tech company, has named a new CEO after a months-long search.

Boston-based Acquia said on Monday that Michael Sullivan will take over as CEO in December, replacing Tom Erickson, who announced his plan to step down back in May. Erickson will stay on Acquia’s board.

Since then, Acquia's co-founder and chief technology officer, Dries Buytaert, has taken on an expanded leadership role. Buytaert will now become chairman of the company’s board and retain the CTO title.

Sullivan co-founded Boston-based Steelpoint Technologies Inc., a software firm focused on managing content for legal and regulatory compliance, in the early 1990s. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions Steelpoint, and Sullivan, became part of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

After HPE last year announced it would spin off parts of its software business and merge them with Micro Focus, Sullivan became a senior vice president and general manager at the combined, publicly traded company.

“Mike is one of the most dynamic technology leaders I have met,” Buytaert said in a prepared statement. “Like me, he founded a company in his 20s which he has led ever since.”

Acquia, which has raised $173.5 million in funding to date, has long floated the idea of going public, although it has not yet filed the necessary paperwork with the SEC indicating that it's actively planning to do so. Kathleen Smith, a principal at Renaissance Capital, a manager of IPO exchange traded funds, said in an interview this fall that her firm has Acquia on a list of potential 2018 IPOs.

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