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Give Yvonne Wassenaar a warm welcome to Puppet as our new CEO

Today, we announced Yvonne Wassenaar as our CEO. Yvonne brings deep experience in cloud computing and enterprise go-to-market acceleration, having held key leadership positions at Airware, New Relic and VMware. We are so excited to have Yvonne join the team to lead our continued market expansion in the rapidly growing Infrastructure-as-a-Service space.

I recently sat down with Yvonne to ask her a few questions as she joins our team. Here’s what she had to say:

Katie: A Puppet tradition is that each new employee shares something about themselves which has nothing to do with work. What’s yours?

Yvonne: When I was 18 years old and studying in England, I thought it would be fun to try parachuting. I remember being 10,000 feet in the air on a beautiful Sunday in the fall, sitting on the edge of a small plane that had no door. We were flying over a traditional Sunday marketplace out in the countryside where people were out buying fresh goods. Next to the marketplace was a big field with a single tree right in the middle of it. The instructor was very clear when we jumped from the plane that we should aim for the tree. The rationale being to give us a focus point and help ensure we would land somewhere other than on the top of the shoppers. When it was my turn to go, my feet dangling out the door, I started to realize this may not have been my best idea, particularly as I have a slight fear of heights. Too late, the instructor gave me a push and out I went. Thankfully, the static line pulled the cord, the parachute went up, and I could relax a bit. I focused on my mission—the tree. Turns out, I was a bit too good at following instructions as I managed to land so close to the tree my chute was all tangled up in the branches. It took a good hour or more to untangle it all. At points, I considered just cutting the strings and moving on but I persisted until the task was done (and took up hang gliding).

Katie: You’ve had a pretty broad career across large and small companies with your most recent company being a drone analytics start-up. Why are you so excited to be joining Puppet?

Yvonne: It’s the combination of an amazing team and the opportunity I see to have an impact.

Technology is changing every business, across every industry, around the globe. The question is not if an enterprise needs to technically transform its business, the question is how quickly can they do it in the context of their budget, resource, and security challenges. Having been a CIO and having worked in technology for almost 30 years, I know firsthand this is a non-trivial task.

The beauty of Puppet is that we are uniquely positioned to make what seems impossible, possible. Puppet can help enterprises be dramatically more efficient in how they manage their traditional environments while supporting their expansions into the cloud-native/container world of the future. To quote our CTO Deepak Giridharagopal, “Puppet is meeting the customers where they are and taking them to where they need to be.” This is the reason so many enterprises already work with Puppet (over 40,000 customers globally including 75% of the Fortune 100) and why our community is so strong. We are the trusted partner that understands pervasive automation in a hybrid world is hard and we are here to make it easier, more reliable and more secure for our customers with the support of the Puppet community and partners.

It is an honor to be joining the team at Puppet in this journey to scale the company and empower enterprises who want (and need) to deliver better software faster in an increasingly hybrid world.

Katie: What will you be focused on as CEO at Puppet?

Yvonne: The founder of Puppet, Luke Kanies, pioneered the infrastructure-as-code and automation market. Sanjay Mirchandani, our most recent CEO, expanded Puppet to increase its future relevance and solidify the enterprise sales motion. My job is to further solidify our position in an increasingly software-driven world while accelerating revenue growth in a predictable and cost-effective manner.

Good news is we have a proven strategy, offering, and team with tremendous market momentum. My focus is on minimizing the potential disruption that can come out of a CEO transition and allow the team to keep focused on delivering success for our customers and community.

Puppet’s future has never been brighter. I look forward to working with the Puppet team to remove the manual, error-prone, and soul-crushing parts of our customers' jobs (regardless of whether they are in traditional or cloud-native/container based), and replacing them with automated ones. Empowering people through automation. Accelerating accomplishment.

Katie Abbott is senior vice president of legal and people at Puppet.