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Exclusive: DreamHost CEO Simon Anderson to Step Down

Former Dreamhost CEO Simon AndersonFormer Dreamhost CEO Simon Anderson
Former Dreamhost CEO Simon AndersonSimon Anderson

Simon Anderson, who has been chief executive of DreamHost for nearly five years, is stepping down.

Anderson confirmed his departure—which has not yet been publicly announced—in an interview with Fortune, saying he is working with DreamHost’s board to ensure a smooth transition.

Fun fact: A July 2011 press release announcing his appointment is probably the only such document to note the recipient’s “powerful Australian accent and movie star jawline,” but I digress.

The Los Angeles-based web hosting company became a force to be reckoned with in the OpenStack cloud world, as evidenced by its decision to back successful storage subsystem Ceph. In 2012, Dreamhost launched Inktank, a company offering a commercially supported version of Ceph. Red Hat (RHT) bought Inktank two years later for $175 million.

Anderson said the new development was an amicable parting of ways—the only major conflict he had with the company founders is that he had wanted to seek additional growth funding while they did not. Over the years Dreamhost, co-founded by Dallas Bethune, Josh Jones, Michael Rodriguez, and Sage Weil, has been largely self-funded. All of the co-founders except Jones are still affiliated with the company.

“It’s their right as founders to take a different view. It’s their company that they’ve built over 18 years,” Anderson said.

The entrepreneur said he has few other irons in the fire. He co-founded Akanda, another company dedicated to providing commercial support for open-source technology, this time Astara network virtualization. His co-founders at Akanda include DreamHost vice president of cloud Jonathan LaCour.

Anderson is also stepping down from the OpenStack Foundation board where his slot will be taken by LaCour. Anderson said he will probably run as an individual board member next year. As for DreamHost leadership, Anderson said the company’s board and management are conducting a search for a chief executive or general manager.

Fortune reached out to DreamHost for additional comment and will update this story as needed.

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