Mirantis’ new CEO is once again its old CEO

Mirantis is an enterprise infrastructure startup that has gone through its share of evolutionary cycles since it launched back in 1999. That has included a number of leadership changes, including a CEO swap in 2018 which saw co-founder and CEO Alex Freedland step down and co-founder Adrian Ionel take on the CEO role (after Ionel and Freedland had first swapped CEO roles back in 2015). Back in 2020, co-founder Boris Renski also left the company. But now, in another twist to this story, Freedland is coming back as CEO while Ionel is stepping down, effective January 11.

In a memo to the company, Freedland noted that this was a planned transition, “related to changes the board wanted to make in the new year to allow us to focus on the next phase of technical innovation and profitable growth.”

While Mirantis has gone through its ups and downs, most recently, the company seemed to have found a lot more stability, especially after it acquired Docker Enterprise in 2019. After transitioning away from its focus on OpenStack to become a more developer-oriented infrastructure company (ZeroOps, as Mirantis likes to call it) based on Kubernetes and other cloud-native technologies, the company is currently looking at how it can build new tools (and adapt its existing ones) to help its customers adopt AI on top of this modern infrastructure.

“Once again, we are in the middle of one of the most exciting periods in the history of computing, more than ever led by open source innovation. Mirantis will continue to apply our experience of bringing together the best of open source and harnessing it into secure, reliable, and scalable solutions that our customers demand to stay ahead of their competition,” said Freedland in today’s public announcement. “The company’s unique combination of innovation DNA, flexibility, and operational expertise sets it apart in the competitive landscape.”

Under Ionel, Mirantis acquired not just Docker Enterprise, but also startups like  amazee.ioShipa and the assets of Kontena, which became its Lens product. Ionel will transition to an advisor role.