I was pleasantly surprised to read that Larry Augustin had been named SugarCRM's full-time CEO. After spending much of the last decade as an investor and board member extraordinaire for many (most?) companies grouped in the commercial open source category, it is good to see Larry back in the CEO saddle. This is a vindication of sorts for Larry and his vision of an open source future. After years of attempting to explain just how ubiquitous open source was going to be, he can now take the reigns of a company at a time when most customers and vendors take as a given that a substantial portion of any solution will consist of open source code. This was not always the case, especially when Larry was still CEO of VA Linux Systems, at the time the premier vendor for servers running Linux.
To give you an idea of what SugarCRM is getting, Larry is a guy who saw the value in building a center of gravity for open source developerment before most; a guy who counseled LinuxWorld Expo to look to the developer audience and eschew the bad advice they were receiving from their vendors. That they ignored him and subsequently failed is a testament to his vision.
Perhaps the best example of this vision was a move he made almost 10 years ago that many, including yours truly, openly questioned at the time: the acquisition of Andover.net by VA Linux Systems. Some of you may remember that Andover.net was the media company that had purchased Slashdot.org and Freshmeat.net. VA was then still gleaming with post-IPO sparkles, which had taken place just two months prior to the Andover acquisition.
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