It’s Official! Melissa Di Donato is SUSE’s First Female CEO

  • Di Donato will succeed Nils Brauckmann, who announced his retirement on Monday.
  • Under Di Donato’s leadership, SUSE will continue to focus on growth and expansion with the backing of growth investor EQT.

Accomplished technology executive and former SAP leader, Melissa Di Donato, has been named chief executive officer (CEO) of SUSE, the world’s largest independent open source software company.

“UK-based Di Donato will be SUSE’s first female CEO, effective August 5,” the company announced in an official statement.

Prior to SUSE, Di Donato was chief operating officer and chief revenue officer at SAP where she was responsible for the worldwide revenue, profit and customer satisfaction of the company’s digital core solutions.

She had earlier held senior executive positions at Salesforce and was recognized for her contributions to growing global organizations with the 2018 Digital Masters Award for Excellence in Commercial Management.

Di Donato is highly regarded for her forward-thinking leadership style and is a passionate advocate for workplace diversity. She is the Technology Group chair of the 30% Club – an organization with the goal of achieving 30 percent female directors on S&P 100 boards by 2020.

She also holds prominent positions in other organizations, including Notion Capital, and is a trustee for charity Founders4Schools.

“There is no greater honour than to lead SUSE into its next chapter of accelerated growth and corporate development,” Di Donato said.

“SUSE is at the cusp of a historic shift as open source software is now a critical part of any thriving enterprise’s core business strategy. We are well positioned to emerge as the clear leader of this shift, with our ability to power digital transformation for our customers at their own pace and with agile, enterprise-grade open source solutions, edge to core to cloud.”

“What is unmistakable is our unlimited ability to deliver value to our community, customers, partners and shareholders – all of whom have been the bedrock of SUSE’s success. As exciting as SUSE’s growth and innovation have been over the past several years, we are just getting started,” she added.

Former CEO hands over the reins to Di Donato

Di Donato will succeed Nils Brauckmann, who announced his retirement on Monday. During his tenure as CEO of SUSE, Brauckmann delivered eight years of continuous expansion including a substantial increase during FY18, a year which saw record-breaking revenues. Presiding over SUSE’s transition to a standalone organization was Brauckmann’s final accomplishment as the company’s CEO.

“I am incredibly proud of SUSE’s progress and growth over the last eight years, which has culminated in it securing independent status,” Brauckmann said.

“With this chapter of SUSE’s corporate development complete, I could not be more pleased to hand off the leadership of SUSE to Melissa. She is a proven and dynamic change agent, and many of her achievements have occurred in subscription businesses that exist in high-growth cloud environments. Melissa is someone I am confident will lead SUSE to realize its fullest potential,” he added.

The new CEO to focus on growth and expansion

Under Di Donato’s leadership, SUSE said it will continue to focus on growth and expansion with the backing of growth investor EQT, a leading investment firm with more than EUR 61 billion in raised capital.

“As the company’s new CEO, she will focus on SUSE’s commercial success and innovation in its core business as well as in emerging technologies, both organically and through add-on acquisitions,” the company stated in its press release.

Jonas Persson, Chairman of SUSE’s Board, is confident that Di Donato will lead the company to the next phase of growth.

He commented, “In Melissa Di Donato I am confident we have found an outstanding CEO with a proven track record of success that speaks for itself. It is expected that SUSE’s delivery against its mission will gain pace under Melissa’s leadership.”





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