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Barry Crist
Barry Crist

Opscode, a fast-growing Seattle software company that makes the open source automation software Chef, has appointed Barry Crist as CEO. He replaces Mitch Hill who has stepped down from the company to battle an illness.

Crist, the former CEO of Likewise Software, which was sold to EMC/Isilon last year, joined Opscode in March after serving as an executive-in-residence at Bellevue venture capital firm Ignition Partners. Ignition is a backer of Opscode.

“If not for Mitch’s health, this would otherwise be an exhilarating time to take the leadership role at Opscode,” writes Crist in a blog post. “I’ve been at the company for five months; during this time I’ve been amazed by both the diversity and depth of what you all are doing with Chef. You are changing the world with Chef.”

Founded by former employee Jesse Robbins, Opscode raised $19.5 million in venture funding last year.

The company didn’t disclose specific revenue figures, but it said 2012 revenues were 10 times the amount in 2011. This year, revenues are expected to double. It now employs 100 people.

Companies using the Enterprise Chef product include Nordstrom, Disney, General Electric, Fidelity Investments and Turner Broadcasting. Meanwhile, there have been over 3.7 million downloads of the Open Source Chef offering, which integrates with cloud offerings such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM SmartCloud and Rackspace.

Opscode founder Jesse Robbins, left, handed the CEO reins to tech veteran Mitch Hill, right last year.
Opscode founder Jesse Robbins, left, and Mitch Hill.

Even though Hill is stepping down as CEO, he will remain on the board. Hill, the former CEO of Avanade, joined Opscode in 2011.

“We’re rooting for Mitch as he focuses on his health and thankful for his tremendous leadership in building Opscode into a market leader,” said Crist. “We are in the midst of a massive change in the enterprise and we’re incredibly fortunate that Chef is at its epicenter. Opscode’s focus will be on empowering our customers to transform their businesses with Enterprise Chef.”

In addition to the appointment of Crist, Opscode co-founder Adam Jacob will move to the role of Chief Dev Officer and Paul Edelhertz will serve as Senior Vice President of Customer Operations.

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