The co-founder of $725 million cloud startup Mesosphere is stepping aside as CEO to make way for a Symantec veteran


Mesosphere CEO Mike Fey, formerly chief operating officer of Symantec.

Mesosphere, most recently valued at $725 million in a funding round this year, is getting a new CEO. Founder Florian Leibert is stepping aside for Mike Fey, most recently president and chief operating officer of Symantec. Leibert had previously announced his intention to find his own replacement. Fey sees a lot of opportunity in bringing Mesosphere’s software to larger customers to help them manage their server and cloud infrastructure. Fey said he was first intrigued by Mesosphere’s all-star roster of investors, which includes Khosla Ventures, Microsoft, Andreessen Horowitz, T. Rowe Price, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Earlier this year, cloud startup Mesosphere raised $125 million, bringing its total funding to just shy of $250 million. That deal valued Mesosphere at $725 million, according to Bloomberg, up from $600 million in 2016. Now, Mesosphere cofounder Florian Leibert is following through on his previously announced intention to step aside as CEO to take a new role focused on strategy and working with customers. Replacing him will be Mike Fey, most recently president and chief operating officer of Symantec, in a move the company says will help it achieve the next stage of growth by going after larger customers. “I realized this was one of the few things that could impact the future in a meaningful way,” Fey told Business Insider in an interview on Thursday. Mesosphere once famously turned down an acquisition offer from Microsoft, after which some pundits started theorizing that the company was doomed. But Fey said Mesosphere is growing fast, and it’s his intention to keep building momentum as an independent company. “I didn’t come here to sell it short,” Fey said. “I came here to build something special.” Mesosphere founder Florian Leibert in the company’s San Francisco headquarters. The magenta spots are the locations of the company’s worldwide offices; the names in blue are some of its customers. Mesosphere What first attracted him to Mesosphere, Fey said, is its all-star roster of investors, including T. Rowe Price, Andreessen Horowitz, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Khosla Ventures, and even Koch Industries, which has sunk just shy of $250 million into the company in total. “That led me to take it very seriously,” Fey said. With his interest piqued, Fey first met with Leibert in October, and he ultimately decided that it was the logical next move for him. Leibert, for his part, was excited to hand off the reins after five years as chief executive and spend more time working with customers and thinking about what’s next for the company. What’s next for Mesosphere Last year, the company said it was on a $50 million annualized run rate, a measure of how much revenue it expects to book over the next 12-month period. While Mesosphere declines to share its numbers today, Leibert has said that its revenue triples every year.

Read More