On Thursday he officially took over the CEO post, replacing the software company’s co-founder John Schroeder, who was named executive chairman. In that capacity, Schroeder will focus on product strategy and customer evangelism.
MapR described the executive as a “natural evolution,” stressing Mills’ most recent experience in building Oracle’s business in North America. Mills was also a member of the software giant’s executive committee, which leads overall strategy.
“He brings a tremendous amount of experience running operations at scale,” Schroeder told Fortune. "This sets us up well for the next five years."
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MapR has raised more than $194 million, including a $50 million Series E round in early August led by Future Fund. At the time, Schroeder declined to disclose the 500-person company’s valuation.
MapR specializes in software for storage and analyzing big data. Its rivals include Hortonworks, which went public in December 2014, and Cloudera, which has raised more than $1.2 billion for companies including Intel.
Although MapR executives have in the past been candid about their ambitions for an initial public offering—last fall it was hoping for a 2016 debut—neither Schroeder nor Mills would commit to a specific timeline during an interview on Wednesday.
Mills did say, however, that one of his objectives is to create an organization that is IPO-ready. That includes being more disciplined about spending and striving for cash-flow-positive status during the first half of 2017. You can also expect him to stress larger deals, although MapR doesn’t currently disclose how many customers it has. The number it has touted in the past is 700, including American Express and Cisco.