Puppet Labs promotes Nigel Kersten to CTO

It’s always nice to see Portland startups adding executive talent. It’s even nicer when those folks have worked their way up to that position.

Such is the case with Nigel Kersten at Puppet Labs, who was just appointed CTO.

“I’m thrilled to take on the role of CTO, and to concentrate on fostering our culture of technical innovation so that we continue to build applications and platforms that truly advance the state of IT infrastructure,” said Nigel in a blog post announcing the promotion. “The world of operations is undergoing radical change right now. The cloud, pervasive virtualization, corporate adoption of FOSS, BYOD, IaaS, PaaS and SaaS are all forcing sysadmins to be truly agile and adaptive. Some of the brightest people in our industry work in operations, and it’s going to be incredible to see what they come up with when IT automation gives them space to concentrate on genuinely important matters.”

Nigel left Google to move to Portland join Puppet 18 months ago. And it seems that it’s been quite a ride.

It’s been an immense 18 months. We started with our first commercial release, Puppet Enterprise 1.0, and followed that up with several great releases, all solving real problems for real users. We’ve brought on the open source MCollective and Hiera projects from the incomparable RI Pienaar, released Puppet 2.7.0, and grown at an amazing pace. We’ve grown from 2 events a year to 15, including the incredibly successful PuppetConf ’11 and are building up to an even bigger PuppetConf this year. Nothing like startup speed to quicken the blood.

From the original 20 odd folks I started with in the tiny office in the seedy and urine-drenched Old Town to our shiny digs in the Pearl, with over 80 employees. From a distinct lack of in-house beverages to decent espresso and delicious local beer. From a company that knew the user experience was critical, to one with a growing UX/Design department headed up by Randall of the impenetrable Gandalf gaze.

For more, see Nigel’s post on the Puppet Labs blog or follow @nigelkersten on Twitter. For more on the company, visit Puppet Labs.