Backed by many of the most important technology companies and startups, CNCF focuses on advancing open source and cloud native technologies

SAN FRANCISCO – June 3, 2016 – The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), a Linux Foundation project and organization advancing the development of cloud native technologies, today announced Dan Kohn as its new executive director. His leadership will accelerate the project’s efforts to cultivate development of open source technologies, reference architectures and common formats for cloud native technologies.

Kohn previously served as chief technology officer of several startups including Spreemo, a health care marketplace, and Shopbeam, a shoppable ads company, and was earlier a general partner at Skymoon Ventures, a $70 million seed-stage venture capital firm that created startups in semiconductors and telecom infrastructure.

“Every business, from startups to giant enterprises, is looking for a roadmap on how to deploy to the cloud in a way that provides scalability without a ceiling, keeps costs manageable, and avoids vendor lock-in through reliance on widely used, best-in-class open source projects,” said Dan Kohn, executive director of Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “I’m excited to help CNCF members build that roadmap.”

Open source is pivotal to making cloud native work. Kubernetes and Prometheus are the first CNCF projects. The organization plans to incorporate other complementary technologies to foster innovation in container packaged, dynamically scheduled, microservices-based application development and operations. Chris Aniszczyk, formerly interim executive director of the project, will serve as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO) of CNCF.

Kohn and The Linux Foundation have collaborated for more than a decade. He helped found The Linux Foundation, working closely with board members that represent the world’s leading global technology companies, to help build it into one of the industry’s top consortia. More recently, he served as an advisor for The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), a multi-million dollar effort to improve the security of critical Internet open source software, that counts Amazon Web Services, Bloomberg, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Rackspace and many others as members. He helped create and launch CII’s Best Practices Badge, a free program that improves the security, quality and stability of open source software.

“Dan has deep business and technical intelligence that’s rooted in the early days of the Internet,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “He was a key pioneer at one of the earliest web startups and conducted the first secure transaction on the web. He’s helped manage numerous telecommunications companies throughout his career. His entrepreneurial drive and expertise will be a great asset to Cloud Native Computing Foundation as cloud is becoming a growing imperative for so many organizations.”

Kohn also co-founded and served as the initial CEO of Pedestal Networks, an innovative DSL equipment company (sold to UTStarcom); Dash Networks, the first Internet-enabled automotive GPS device (sold to RIM); and Habeas, an email accreditation company (sold to Return Path). He started his career as founder and CEO of NetMarket, one of the first Internet companies. In 1994, he led the development of the first music store on the web, including conducting the first secure commercial transaction, deploying the first commercial database-backed website, and implementing the first shopping cart.

Kohn is the latest in a number of open source trailblazers who have joined The Linux Foundation in the last year: Brian Behlendorf, a primary developer of the Apache Web server, was just named executive director of the Hyperledger Project; Sam Ramji, formerly of Microsoft’s open source office, is CEO of Cloud Foundry Foundation; Chris Aniszczyk, formerly of Twitter, currently manages the Open Container Initiative and serves as COO of CNCF; and Nicko van Sommeren, formerly of Good Technology, heads up the Core Infrastructure Initiative. Linux creator Linus Torvalds and Linux maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman are fellows at The Linux Foundation.

About Cloud Native Computing Foundation

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is a nonprofit organization committed to advancing the development of cloud native applications and services by creating a new set of common container technologies informed by technical merit and end user value, and inspired by Internet-scale computing. As a shared industry effort, CNCF members represent container and cloud technologies, online services, IT services and end user organizations focused on promoting and advancing the state of cloud native computing for the enterprise. For more information about CNCF, please visit:


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