It looks like Hortonworks co-founder Baldeschwieler has left the company


Credit: Yodel Anecdotal

It appears that Hortonworks co-founder and CTO Eric Baldeschwieler is no longer with the company. Hortonworks is the Hadoop software and services company that spun out of Yahoo in June 2011.

Baldeschwieler is no longer listed on the management team page, where former Chief Products Officer Ari Zilka is now listed as CTO. Baldeschwieler’s name has also been removed from the company’s board of directors page. Cached pages from July 26 and July 24, respectively, still list him in both positions.

He was the Hortonworks CEO until February 2012, when, as we reported, he was replaced by veteran open source executive and then-COO Rob Bearden. The company didn’t publicly announce the change, although Baldeschwieler did put a positive spin on the news in a subsequent blog post. Several sources — and numerous commenters to my post on Hortonworks’ launch — have said the company’s investors always wanted Bearden as CEO and it was just a matter of time until the job was his.

Baldeschwieler was Yahoo’s vice president of Hadoop software development prior to the formation of Hortonworks. Yahoo decided to spin off the company and keep a stake in it rather than lose Baldeschwieler and his team to the countless Silicon Valley big data and web startups then fighting for skilled Hadoop engineers. Yahoo led the development of Hadoop during its formative years and is still an active contributor to the open source project.

I have reached out to both Hortonworks and Baldeschwieler for comment but have not received a response from either.


eric baldeschwieler

The tech team at hortonworks is the best hadoop team in the world IMO and has had remarkably low turnover. Hortonworks’ customers are in good hands.


Eric, I was there and I saw how Rob treated you in meetings — no real respect for your technical skills. He would talk over you and dismiss your opinions in his “sales guy” fashion. You are too nice a guy. It was clear to me that Rob was positioning himself as the only leader. And of course you are right that there is still a core group of great engineers. But the support, marketing, and training teams – the one’s managed by Rob – were in shambles under Rob’s direction. The executives were “yes” men – they had to be in order to work for Rob. There were some good people at Hortonworks but Rob’s crazy revenue driven goals destroyed their efforts. (And I’m not commenting with my real name – for obvious reasons.)


Things are really going south at Hortonworks. Eric was very well liked there and highly respected by the engineers. The opposite is true of Rob Bearden. The company has recycled their entire employee base 3 or 4 times. Most of the people who have been there for 1+ year are very unhappy with things. Lots of fresh hires keep showing up to replace the jaded by reality people. They are struggling against keeping up with Cloudera on all fronts. Rob’s post on the Hortonworks blog is just him trying to save face. Rob’s an ex-Oracle sales guy who doesn’t care about open source or Hadoop. This is just how he sees a way to quickly flip a company and make some $$ in the process.

Anybody looking to do business with HW should be very careful and do their own due diligence research on that cluster f*ck of a company.


Where is this information coming from (I know from inside connections that at least some of the stronger statements are plain factually incorrect)?
Sounds like internet double negative, bad mouthing by an incompetent.


I can confirm the observations of “findme”. I was there too and saw exactly what he saw. As for those who claim to have “inside connections” that refute “findme” — well, it is easy to tell who really saw Rob in action at Hortonworks.

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