Snowflake CEO Bob Muglia Exits As Former ServiceNow Chief Takes Helm

Cloud data warehouse provider names former ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman to be Snowflake's new CEO and chairman


Snowflake Computing has appointed former ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman as Snowflake's new CEO and announced the immediate departure of former CEO Bob Muglia, who led the supplier of cloud data warehouse services through five years of rapid growth.

A pair of company statements gave no reason for the unexpected move.

"Snowflake is one of the most significant new companies in Silicon Valley and we believe Frank is the right leader at this juncture to fully realize that potential," said Mike Speiser, a member of Snowflake's board of directors, in the statement announcing Slootman's appointment. "The best time to make a change is when things are going well. We're thrilled to have Frank take the helm at Snowflake. We also wish to recognize the incredible role Bob Muglia has played over the past five years to get us to this point."

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"Former CEO Bob Muglia has left the company after leading Snowflake through five years of unprecedented growth," said the press statement, without further elaboration.

A second statement from Snowflake's board of directors said the board "would like to thank Bob Muglia for his tireless effort and dedication to building the Snowflake business over the past five years. Bob is a high integrity leader and leaves us with an excellent reputation. We look forward to working with Bob through this transition and wish him the very best in his future endeavors."

That statement also quoted Muglia as saying: "It has been an honor and a privilege to lead the Snowflake team over the past five years as we've built the world's best cloud data warehouse," said Bob Muglia. "Our success is founded upon our values, foremost of which is putting the customer first. I look forward to assisting as an advisor during the transition and am confident the Snowflake team will take our success to the next level."

Slootman, who also will be Snowflake's chairman, served as chairman and CEO of ServiceNow between 2011 and 2017, taking the company from under $100 million in revenue to $1.4 billion in sales and leading the company through a successful IPO, according to the Snowflake statement. Prior to ServiceNow, Slootman was chairman and CEO of Data Domain.

A Snowflake Computing spokesperson said the company would have no comment on the developments beyond the two statements.

Privately held Snowflake Computing, founded in 2012 and based in San Mateo, Calif., is perhaps the most successful startup in the big data arena in recent years and is seen as one of the most successful IT startups overall.

Snowflake offers a portfolio of cloud-based data warehouse services, positioning itself as a less expensive, easier-to-use alternative to on-premises data warehouse systems. The company has experienced rapid growth despite going head to head with Amazon Web Services' Redshift, Google's BigQuery and other competitors.

In February, Snowflake said it tripled its revenue and customer base in its fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2019. During the year the company raised an impressive $450 million in venture funding – bringing its total financing to $920 million and setting the company's value at $3.9 billion.

Snowflake was co-founded by CTO Benoit Dageville, Thierry Cruanes and Marcin Zukoski.

Muglia worked at Microsoft between 1988 and 2011, including as president and senior vice president of the company's Server & Tools business for the last four years. He was then an executive vice president at Juniper Networks for two years before joining Snowflake as CEO in June 2014.