The growth of CNCF to 835 members and 140 projects is driving the need for ever more dynamic leaders familiar with all parts of our ecosystem.

That’s why we’re excited to welcome Thabang Mashologu to oversee global business and community operations for CNCF and our thriving ecosystem of maintainers, contributors, users, members, and vendors.

Thabang is our first ever VP of Operations and Community Programs. In this role, he has accountability for day-to-day operational and administrative functions, including community programs, marketing, and finance.

He is an accomplished executive who is passionate about the power of open source to solve big problems, create economic value, and make the world a better place. With a strong background in marketing and community enablement, he also knows foundations, having earlier worked as a VP at the Eclipse Foundation.

We welcomed Thabang with questions so we can all get to know him better:

Q: Why did you choose to join CNCF?

A: I’m originally an engineer by trade and found my passion in open source innovation and building communities. The CNCF plays host to a dedicated global community and many of the fastest growing and impactful open source projects of our time. It’s a great platform and stage to have impact in the open source industry.

Q: Talk more about your role here?

A: I’m responsible for all of our day-to-day operational and administrative functions, including community programs, marketing, budgeting and finance, but I like to think of my job as being a cheerleader and enabler for the people and organizations fuelling a massive tidal wave of transformation for everyone’s benefit. I look forward to working with some of the brightest minds in the software industry to drive sustainable growth and contributions to open source software innovation for the cloud native space.

Q: What excites you about the cloud native ecosystem/landscape?

A: I couldn’t think of a more exciting time to come onboard. Cloud native applications are of critical importance for today’s enterprises across industries. Kubernetes continues to mature and go mainstream, driven by a large and dedicated community. What people may not know is that we host over 140 open source cloud native projects, including OpenTelemetry, Argo, Backstage, Prometheus, and others that are experiencing significant growth in participation from an increasingly diverse, global contributor base. We are also seeing strong demand for training and certifications to meet industry’s demand for skilled cloud native professionals. If you want to help nurture and advance innovative open source projects with impact, I can’t think of many places better to be than the CNCF ecosystem.

Q: What will be one of your first focus areas?

A: My first priority is to meet with and learn from our community and members, so I’m really excited to be heading to Detroit (Oct. 24-28) for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America.

Q: What about longer term goals?

A: In service of our mission to make cloud native ubiquitous, I want to make sure that we continually deliver exceptional maintainer and developer experience. So I’ll be looking for opportunities to reduce friction in our processes and optimize for contributors in making the CNCF a welcoming environment for open source cloud native collaboration.