Making changes

James Turnbull bio photo By James Turnbull Comment

For the last three and a half years I’ve been helping build the business at Puppet Labs in Portland. I’ve had a lot of fun doing it, indeed we moved halfway across the world to take on the challenge. It’s been an enormous success. Puppet Labs has grown from the ten odd people in the company when I joined to over a hundred and sixty people and the business has boomed along with that growth. I’m proud of the team we’ve hired, the lines of business we’ve grown and the leadership group we’ve built at Puppet Lab’s.

The establishment of that leadership capability has also facilitated me making a personal change that means I will be moving on from my role at Puppet Labs. I’m going to miss Puppet Labs a great deal. I love the team there, they aren’t just colleagues, they are friends and I am personally deeply invested in the success of Puppet and the company.

My new role will be VP of Engineering at Venmo in New York. I’ve always been keenly interested in payments and my ranting (often late at night in the bar at conferences) about the state of the US banking system is well known. Now I get to put my efforts where my mouth is. I’m also excited about the opportunity to build awesome mobile applications. And prove to people that I am not a total dinosaur in that arena: apparently phones have the Internet on them now.

This also doesn’t mean I’ll disappear from the Puppet community. I’m passionate about a number of topics, especially integration of other tools, in the Puppet world so expect to continue to see me posting, putting modules up on the Forge and trying to make various things connect to Puppet.

I’d like to thank some specific people for making my life at Puppet Labs so much fun. Scott Campbell, our VP of Sales, who I’ve spent an inordinately large amount of time with selling Puppet and helping build the sales pipeline. Scott Johnson, our VP of Marketing, is someone I’ve learnt an enormous amount from about the startup world, strategy and marketing overall.

And of course, Nigel Kersten, who is not only a bloody smart cookie but also a dear friend who I will miss with working with greatly. Indeed the entire executive team at Puppet Labs is made up of some amazingly talented and smart people who have taught me a lot.

Lastly, I can’t finish this without saying something about Luke Kanies. Luke is the smartest person I’ve ever worked with. The man I met many years ago when he was basically all of Puppet has grown into a CEO and built a great team and awesome product. He’s also become a good friend and I’ll miss working with him.

So it is with a lot of sadness I go but I don’t doubt that Puppet Labs will have enormous success and I look forward to seeing that success.