The Next Chapter: Shay Banon to Succeed Steven Schuurman as Elastic CEO
A Note from Steven Schuurman
Rarely do you make decisions you know will shape the rest of your life.
Even though you fundamentally believe you are making the right choice, there’s still a part of you that's not 100% sure. You’re torn between deep rooted emotions — loyalty, ambition, a strong sense of responsibility — on the one hand, and an equally strong urge to make a change on the other.
This is how I felt when I decided to co-found Elastic. It is also how I felt when I told fellow Elastic founder Shay Banon I decided to step down as CEO of Elastic.
I knew it was coming, but what I didn’t know I was going to tell him at 07:30am at Schiphol airport; utterly unprepared. Knowing all too well that the impact of my decision would have an impact of similar magnitude on his life as it would on mine, I shared my decision. The conversation and subsequent series of events that followed I consider exemplary of the deep relationship we both built over the years.
Long story short, I barely had to explain why. Shay understood immediately as we have always been 100% transparent with each other – no exceptions. Here is my thinking: in its essence, I feel the time has come for me to hand over the CEO-baton, as Elastic gears up for the next phase in the company’s evolution. I have loved every single element of founding, building, nurturing, shaping and tuning all aspects of the company, but feel my job here as CEO is complete. The foundation is ready.
Elastic has the potential to be the world’s next great software company, if it’s lead by a truly inspiring visionary leader, that is not afraid of making grand, bold moves. That person is none other than my entrepreneurial soulmate, Shay.
Even though I have carried the CEO title since the inception of the company, he has always been my co-pilot. Wherever we steered our phenomenal rocket ship; we decided on its course together.
Today, I am thrilled to announce that Shay has accepted this new challenge, and will be the CEO of Elastic as of May 1st 2017. I will continue to serve on Elastic’s Board of Directors in a non-executive capacity and watch closely over the company’s success, which I’m sure will continue to blow my mind like it’s done since the beginning.
I’d like to express a very deep and profound thank you to my co-founders Uri Boness and Simon Willnauer; none of what we have built over the past 5 years would have happened without you. An equally special thank you to my insanely talented executive leadership team; you are brilliant to work with and have made building Elastic easier than a walk in the park on a sunny afternoon. The same holds true for my investors and board members: Peter Fenton from Benchmark Capital, Mike Volpi from Index Ventures, the recently deceased and dearly missed Harry Weller from NEA, Harry’s successor Chetan Puttagunta, and lastly, my SpringSource co-founder Rod Johnson. Your dedication is a wonderful source of inspiration, I will forever carry with me.
To all other Elastronauts; I am proud to have served as your CEO, you know I love you. Speak soon.
A Note from Shay Banon
Steven, since the start of our company, what I loved in our partnership is that the definition of roles between us was very flexible. We did what is right for the company, with no ego involved. This gave me the opportunity to roam the company and help where needed, a role that went beyond a typical CTO role, and beyond being “just” product or technology focused.
It’s been a truly amazing 5 years. We are humbled by the adoption of our products — we’re approaching 100 million total downloads — and the growth of our community, which now spans 100 countries with 80,000 members. As it’s been said before, we wouldn’t be here without our entire community, and we’re not going anywhere without your help.
I am excited to take the lead and assume the CEO role, navigate our company through its next phase of evolution, and make sure we build a technology company to last. Our strength as a company is our people, our products, our users, and our responsibilities as a leading tech company (a start is the "On Immigration and Diversity" post I wrote), and I feel humble and am ready to lead Elastic to its next level.