Geek Of The Week: Ali Ghodsi, CEO Of Databricks

Databricks is a analytical focused company that focuses on providing a unified platform that helps to enhance growth and innovation by unifying data science, engineering and business. develops a web-based platform for working with Spark, that provides automated cluster management and IPython-style notebooks. In addition to building the Databricks platform, the company is co-organizing massive open online courses about Spark and runs the largest conference about Spark – Spark Summit.

Founded in the year 2013 by about 7 co- founders including Ali Ghodsi who also doubles as the Chief Executive Officer of the organization, the company has its headquarters at San Francisco in the United State. The founders of the company are the original creators of the Apache Spark which was a project from which Databricks was grown. Prior to becoming CEO of the company in 2016, Ali has been functioning as the  VP of engineering and product management title since co-founding the company.

Ali Ghodsi, the CEO of Databricks specialises in the niche of distributed systems and big data, he is also an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley. A Sweden citizen,  Ali received his MBA from Mid-Sweden University in 2003 and PhD from KTH/Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden in 2006 in the area of Distributed Computing.

Under his leadership, The company has raised $500M at a $2.75B valuation from NEA, Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Data Collective, Microsoft, Coatue Management, Green Bay Ventures, and SineWave Ventures to name a few.

On Ghodsi’’s remarks on what being an effect CEO requires, he said, “I think the CEO job can be summarized quite simply. One, you need a vision. You need a vision that’s compelling and can get a lot of people behind it, and it is sort of audacious and really forward-looking. A lot of people don’t actually come up with that for their companies. They run their startup, but they haven’t actually articulated what that vision is. So you need to articulate that, and then you need to repeatedly repeat it to the company. That’s one. Two, you have to figure out a strategy. It needs to be three, four, two, maybe max, five things. Then keep repeating those for the company, and make sure that you have a way in which you can operationalize that for the company. Third, probably the most important, you have to hire an executive team that’s really strong that can execute on this. That’s probably the hardest part: finding those people in the team that report to you that can really execute. That’s probably the most difficult part, and this is where I see a lot of people failing. Then finally, four, you have to make sure that team is aligned, working together, and executing on that strategy and toward that vision.”

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