SUSE appoints Melissa Di Donato as CEO

Di Donato succeeds Nils Brauckmann, who today announced his retirement.

Accomplished technology executive and former SAP leader, Melissa Di Donato has been named chief executive officer of SUSE in a move that will herald the next phase of growth and momentum for the independent open-source software company.

 Di Donato has a proven track record in sales, business operations and leadership focused on high growth and transformation. Prior to SUSE, Di Donato was a chief operating officer and chief revenue officer at SAP where she was responsible for the worldwide revenue, profit and customer satisfaction of the company’s digital core solutions. She also held senior executive positions at Salesforce and was recognized for her contributions to growing global organizations by winning the 2018 Digital Masters Award for Excellence in Commercial Management.

Di Donato is highly regarded for her forward-thinking leadership style and is a passionate advocate for workplace diversity. This includes her role as Technology Group chair of the 30% Club – an organization with the goal of achieving 30 percent female directors on S&P 100 boards by 2020. She also holds prominent positions in other organizations, including Notion Capital, and is a trustee for charity Founders4Schools.

UK-based Di Donato will be SUSE’s first female CEO, effective August 5.

Di Donato succeeds Nils Brauckmann, who today announced his retirement. During his tenure as CEO of SUSE, Brauckmann delivered eight years of continuous expansion including a substantial increase during FY18, a year which saw record-breaking revenues.

Presiding over SUSE’s transition to a standalone organization is Brauckmann’s final accomplishment as CEO as he hands over the reins to a new CEO in an aptly timed leadership succession.

“I am incredibly proud of SUSE’s progress and growth over the last eight years, which has culminated in it securing independent status,” Brauckmann said. “With this chapter of SUSE’s corporate development complete, I could not be more pleased to hand off the leadership of SUSE to Melissa. She is a proven and dynamic change agent, and many of her achievements have occurred in subscription businesses that exist in high-growth cloud environments. Melissa is someone I am confident will lead SUSE to realize its fullest potential.” 

Under Di Donato’s leadership, SUSE will continue to focus on growth and expansion with the backing of growth investor EQT, a leading investment firm with more than EUR 61 billion in raised capital. As the company’s new CEO, she will focus on SUSE’s commercial success and innovation in its core business as well as in emerging technologies, both organically and through add-on acquisitions. SUSE’s independence will continue to be aligned with a single-minded focus on delivering what is best for customers and partners, coupled with full control over its own destiny.

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