Zendesk COO Zack Urlocker Departs The Company

Zack Urlocker, the tech industry veteran and open source software expert, has stepped down as COO at next-generation customer service software provider Zendesk, sources tell TechCrunch.

The move hasn’t been announced formally, but Urlocker’s biography and photo are now absent from Zendesk’s official management team webpage. We’ve reached out for comment from Zendesk but have not received word back yet. Update: A Zendesk spokesperson has provided the following confirmation and comment:

“We can confirm that Zack Urlocker has decided to leave Zendesk after helping us grow the company substantially over the past 2 ½ years. He joined when we had 5,000 companies using Zendesk to serve 22 million customers. Today, more than 30,000 companies use Zendesk to give great customer service to more than 200 million people. We thank Zack for the major role he played in getting us to this point, and we wish him well as he spends more time in early stage software companies where he has been active as an advisor, investor and board member.”

The spokesperson also said that Zendesk will not be seeking to fill the vacant COO spot right away. “The operations responsibilities formerly in that role will be shared among our executive team, including with our CEO.”

It’s a significant change at the top executive levels for Zendesk, as Urlocker’s hiring back in December 2010 was seen as a big coup for the company as it looked to continue turbo-charging its growth. Before Zendesk, Urlocker had previously worked as an executive at MySQL where he was instrumental in growing its annual revenues to more than $100 million prior to its $1 billion sale to Oracle in 2008.

In a blog post back in January 2011 one month in to his tenure, Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane described Urlocker’s management style like this:

“Before we hired Zack, I had a long and good talk with Mårten Mickos, the former CEO of MySQL. He told me that Zack would come to me with all the stuff that I didn’t want to hear, but needed to hear in order to scale the company. That turned out to be true. In the short time that Zack has been with Zendesk, we have tried to look at our business with new eyes. It’s not always easy, but man, it’s rewarding.”

We’ve also reached out to Urlocker for more details on the departure and what’s next for him, and will be sure to report back with any additional information.