Join Transform 2021 for the most important themes in enterprise AI & Data. Learn more.


Platfora, a startup with software for cleaning up, analyzing, and visualizing data stored in the Hadoop open-source big data software, is switching chief executives.

Founder Ben Werther is stepping down after four years and becoming executive chairman. Jason Zintak, an SAP veteran who came on board in June as president and chief operating officer, is becoming the startup’s new chief executive.

“I’ve always thought about some point when I was going to want to hand over the reins,” Werther told VentureBeat in an interview this week. The company kicked off a search in January. Today the company is making the change, now that Werther and Zintak have had more than six months to get to know each other.

The executive shift at Platfora comes as Hadoop becomes more typical in enterprise IT architectures. The premise has been to store great quantities of unstructured or semi-structured data and then find value in it all.

Competitors include Datameer and Clearstory Data. Karmasphere was acquired by FICO last year.

Platfora been enjoying triple-digit annual revenue growth, Werther said. Now Zintak is looking to accelerate that growth, by creating clear playbooks for sales, marketing, and customer success for employees to follow — and by making “directional changes” in the startup’s product roadmap in response to customers’ demands. And that could mean dropping previous plans.

“If no customers benefit, we’re probably not going to make that decision,” Zintak told VentureBeat. The startup will look at the “sober reality” of the market, he said, rather than stick to some big-picture vision that was dreamt up a year or two ago.

San Mateo, Calif.-based Platfora announced a $38 million funding round in March 2014. Investors include Allegis Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Cisco, In-Q-Tel, and Sutter Hill Ventures. The startup has 130 employees and 100 customers, including Disney, Opower, Sears, and the Washington Post.

Companies spend more than $500,000 for subscriptions, Werther said. Zintak, who was chief sales officer at Responsys — which Oracle bought in 2013 — before joining Platfora, believes the company can go further.

A statement on the news is here.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform
  • networking features, and more
Become a member