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Acquia names software vet Chris Stone to lead its product business

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Chris Stone, who left the world of software development for a stint as a VC at Epic Ventures, is back in the fold, joining Acquia as SVP of products and development.

Old-timers may remember Stone as the founder of the Object Management Group, a proponent of object-oriented computing that it pushed via the CORBA standard. He was also EVP of corporate development and then vice chairman of [company]Novell[/company], where he helped drive the acquisition of SUSE. That deal put Novell in the Linux camp and the company was subsequently acquired by Attachmate.

Burlington, Massachusetts–based [company]Acquia[/company], with just under $120 million in venture funding and about 500 employees, built its business on a commercial version of open-source Drupal content management and associated add-on services.

“What Linux was for SUSE and [company]Red Hat[/company], Drupal is for Acquia,” Stone said in an interview. “It’s like chocolate and peanut butter.”

Enterprise users want to be able to manage and track and personalize all that content flowing through the system. “We want people to build a scalable site, whether the customer is a country or a large media enterprise or a car manufacturer. Some of these companies run thousands of web sites,” Stone said. He reports to Acquia CEO Tom Erickson.

Content management competitors include [company]Adobe Systems[/company], which via organic growth and acquisition of companies like [company]Omniture[/company] is not just about content creation, management and delivery anymore, but about tracking and analyzing how that content performs. Other competitors include Automattic’s WordPress (see disclosure) and Pantheon, another Drupal-based content management system.

Disclosure: Automattic is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom.