Dries Buytaert, the chief technology officer of Boston-based Acquia Inc., is taking on more responsibility at the enterprise software company he helped found as long-time CEO Thomas Erickson plans to step down.
The leadership hand-off will be a multi-step process, Erickson and Buytaert explained Tuesday in a pair of blog posts on Acquia's website. An "Office of the CEO" has been created where the two will share managerial responsibilities until "a new operating partner" for Buytaert is found. Buytaert indicated that person would take on the CEO title.
Once that executive is hired, Erickson will fully step down as CEO, keeping his role as chairman of the board.
"As Dries assumes a more prominent role, I’m excited for the company’s days ahead," Erickson said. "He’s extremely talented, hard working, and deftly leads a community of tens of thousands of developers in addition to his contributions here at Acquia."
Buytaert, a native of Belgium, co-founded Acquia in 2007 when he was 29. The company, which he started with the help of local entrepreneur Jay Batson and venture capitalist Michael Skok, was based on Drupal, an open source software Buytaert had built for managing web content. Erickson, previously the CEO of Systinet, joined Acquia's board in 2007 and became its CEO in 2008.
"The time for these changes felt right to both of us," Buytaert said in his own blog post. He continued:
We spent the first decade of Acquia laying down the foundation of a solid business model for going out to the market and delivering customer success with Drupal – Tom's core strengths from his long career as a technology executive. Acquia's next phase will be focused on building confidently on this foundation with more product innovation, new technology acquisitions and more strategic partnerships – my core strengths as a technologist.
Buytaert was named to the Boston Business Journal's 40 Under 40 list in 2014.
Acquia has raised approximately $173.5 million in funding to date, with a $55 million round announced in late 2015, and has been floating the idea of an IPO since at least 2012.
The company has about 750 employees worldwide and $150 million in revenue, according to Erickson's blog post.