Database Startup NuoDB Gets New CEO, Looks to Grow Faster

There has been a leadership change at a prominent database software company in town. NuoDB, based in Cambridge, MA, says founding CEO Barry Morris has become executive chairman, and Bob Walmsley has been promoted to chief executive.

Walmsley was previously NuoDB’s executive vice president of sales and services. Before joining NuoDB in April 2014, he led global sales at software security company Veracode.

Morris says he’ll focus on customer and partner relationships and longer-term product directions, while Walmsley takes over the day-to-day leadership duties. “We’re in a growth stage,” Morris says.

NuoDB got started in 2008, led by founders Morris and Jim Starkey, who retired at the end of 2012. The company applied “emergent” distributed management principles to database technology; that amounts to redesigning databases from the ground up to be faster and more scalable than traditional systems. NuoDB has raised more than $40 million in funding and has about 85 employees.

I spoke with Morris a few weeks ago, before the CEO transition. He was still touting NuoDB’s ambition to “displace the Microsofts, Oracles, and IBMs of the world” with its new database system. He said that big companies in financial services, telecom, and high tech “are using us as their core platform, replacing traditional database companies.”

He added, “Our intention is to build the next Oracle.” Morris wouldn’t comment on any communications NuoDB has had with Oracle or its notorious founder, Larry Ellison. Except to say, “Larry follows me on Twitter.”

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