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SugarCRM loses its CEO John Roberts

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From the 'open source leadership changes' files:

Open source vendor SugarCRM's founder and CEO John Roberts has resigned his post. Roberts founded SugarCRM in 2004 and I've had the good fortune of speaking with him on numerous occasions over the last five years.

Roberts will be replaced by interim CEO Larry Augustin (of SourceForge fame).

"I have an immense amount of respect for the founding CEO, John Roberts," Augustin blogged. "Few people have taken a company from concept to major growth the way John did at Sugar."

I don't disagree. In 2004 when I first tried out SugarCRM, I was impressed with his vision and his application. His goal was to create in open source a CRM system that rivalled those of his commercial proprietary peers.

In the beginning, SugarCRM had a Mozilla plus attribution license that some argued wasn't really open source. I remember well talking with Roberts about that issue at numerous points. In 2007, Roberts made the bold decision of being among the first to formally adopt the GPLv3 license.

From my point of view, Roberts was the point man, the leader, the visionary behind the early growth of SugarCRM. How Augustin will be able to carry that forward remains to be seen.

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