Workday puts Bhusri in sole CEO role, Duffield stays as chairman

Profile picture for user gonzodaddy By Den Howlett May 15, 2014
It's been a long time coming but Aneel Bhusri now gets to run Workday himself. A good move.

By heck but it's a period of change out there in enterprise apps land.

Today, Workday announced that Dave Duffield is stepping down as co-CEO, leaving Aneel Bhusri as sole CEO. Duffield takes the board chair role. No other changes were announced. From the company's blog:

We are no longer co-CEOs, but our day-to-day responsibilities remain the same. This is just a reflection of the way our roles have evolved over the past few years. Aneel remains focused on strategy, products, operating results, and company-wide execution of our business plans. Dave will continue to focus on our Education and Government business, the development of Workday Student, and maintaining and enhancing our culture and values.

For anyone who might get the jitters, the company added:

Our friendship and partnership has never been stronger. We’ll continue to look at the business as co-founders. And we’ll remain focused on employees and customers, as we firmly believe that happy employees equal happy customers. Together, with the rest of the Workday team and community, we’re aiming to bring that 97 percent customer satisfaction to a perfect 100.

From what I have seen and especially in the last year, Duffield has been a lot less publicly visible but you can see his hands all over some of the recent wins and especially those in higher education. I have little doubt that we will see another re-run of the 'Aneel and Dave Show' at the next Workday Rising conference. It's always a special treat for customers.

Bhusri on the other hand has been coming to terms with running a much larger organization and one that has to cross chasms at regular intervals as it manages high growth in an already competitive market.

When we recently met in London, Bhusri told me that he was stepping down from a number of external board appointments to concentrate more fully on Workday. This is the next logical step for someone who has been mentored by one of the most admired tech leaders of the last several decades.

It is always good to see co-founders making these kinds of decision. It is a sure sign of maturity. As the company says:

And now, back to work!

Disclosure: Workday is a partner at time of writing