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A Letter From New Relic CEO-Elect Bill Staples

6 min read

I am humbled and honored that Lew Cirne and the New Relic Board of Directors have asked me to serve as New Relic’s next CEO.

During my career, I’ve been fortunate to work at some amazing companies and interact with some incredible leaders, including some of the world’s most successful CEOs. Of the many leaders I’ve worked alongside, our current CEO and founder, Lew Cirne, stands out as one of the best entrepreneurs, technologists, leaders, thought partners, and human beings I’ve ever met, anywhere. 

Lew is brilliantly creative and can conceive, prototype, and pitch complex, technical ideas at incredible speed. He has an eye for the most minute, pixel-level details, yet he can zoom out to the broadest of visions and energize the masses. Deeply technical and always curious, he dives into and quickly grasps complex technical architecture and is able to guide engineers, and yet, he is completely at home on a sales call with our largest customers and loves spending time with our sales team. 

And, anyone who spends even one minute with Lew, instantly feels connected to him because he is a genuine human being despite his incredible success. He is humble, sociable, deeply empathetic, and feeling. He embodies our core values every day: bold, passionate, accountable, authentic, and connected. Is it any wonder that he is a successful serial entrepreneur? It is inspiring to work with him every day and I’ve learned so very much. We are incredibly fortunate to have him as our founder, and now, as our executive chairman. I look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come.

That partnership has been transformational for New Relic and a key part of what will continue to make New Relic a special company going forward.

Over the past year we have:

  • Aligned every Relic around our customers and their success
  • Completed the productization and cloud migration of the world’s best-in-class telemetry data platform that ingests petabytes of telemetry data daily
  • Reimagined the New Relic user experience on a programmable UX platform and integrated all existing tools into it, migrating 100% of our users to our new experience
  • Simplified our platform packaging and pricing model to deliver a more predictable, simplified consumption with our free tier funnel and product-led growth  
  • Transformed our business model from subscription to consumption, and migrated well over half of our revenue to the new model. By the end of FY22, the vast majority of our revenue will come from customers on the new model.
  • Began our journey to make observability a data-driven approach to engineering, empowering millions of engineers with the power of their data to build more perfect software

One New Relic

Delivering any one of these accomplishments is a major endeavor, and usually requires multiple years of work for a company our size to implement. The fact that we did all of this in the midst of a global pandemic and political and social unrest is a testament to the leadership, grit, determination, and hard work of thousands of Relics across the company. We believe these foundational building blocks position New Relic as the leader in observability and will unlock transformational innovation, customer value, and growth for our company, employees, and shareholders for many years to come. 

We’ve just been through one of the most difficult years in a century, and it was the power of software that got us through it. Software kept us connected, delivered food and supplies, entertained us, and unlocked distance learning, working-from-home, and tele-medicine. Imagine what life might have been like without software this past year?

And yet, software engineering is a difficult craft, and growing more complex every year. The demand for software engineers continues to outstrip supply and the complexity of software and hardware stacks continues to rise. Engineering teams are in constant turmoil, battling distractions between production issues blowing up, which they must react to, and business pressures—both of which demand more innovation at an accelerated pace.  

Telemetry-driven insights, delivered through the services we provide as part of New Relic One, give engineers superpower abilities to plan, build, deploy, and run better software with more confidence. New Relic One helps engineering teams react instantly when needed, and, more important, take a proactive approach in their roles so they don’t have to react—all to ensure a great customer experience. 

Our commitment 

In the coming years, we aspire to make observability a data-driven approach to engineering and a daily practice for millions of engineers. We will help tens of thousands of companies large and small achieve their noble missions through the software they deliver to the world. We will help engineers do their jobs better, faster, easier, and more efficiently by enabling them to be more productive and proactive in their work, rather than feeling bound to the pager and project manager (no offense project managers!). The impact we are creating in the world is incalculable as we help improve the lives of engineers, enhance their ability to drive business results for the companies where they work, and ultimately transform the experiences for billions of consumers and professionals they serve through their software. 

I could not be more excited to lead New Relic into the future. As a company, we sit in the sweet spot of the convergence of digital, cloud, DevOps, AI, and customer experience transformation. We are in the early days of observability—engineering teams are just starting to embrace the practice and our category will grow rapidly for many years to come. There has never been a better time to be an engineer. There has never been a better time to be at New Relic. I’m honored and humbled to lead this next chapter in our story.

Bill

 

This post contains “forward-looking” statements, as that term is defined under the federal securities laws, including but not limited to statements regarding the promotion of Bill Staples to CEO, transition of Lew Cirne to Executive Chairman, the timing of these changes, their continued partnership and anticipated impacts on New Relic, New Relic’s position as a leader in observability and expectations around future innovation and growth of customer value, impact and scope of New Relic’s expected success in its ability to assist companies to achieve their missions, and New Relic’s commitments and anticipated position in the observability category. The achievement or success of the matters covered by such forward-looking statements are based on New Relic’s current assumptions, expectations, and beliefs and are subject to substantial risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and changes in circumstances that may cause New Relic’s actual results, performance, or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement. Further information on factors that could affect New Relic’s financial and other results and the forward-looking statements in this post is included in the filings New Relic makes with the SEC from time to time, including in New Relic’s most recent Form 10-Q, particularly under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” Copies of these documents may be obtained by visiting New Relic’s Investor Relations website at http://ir.newrelic.com or the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. New Relic assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.