In the late summer of 1999 I made one of the most important phone calls of my life. It was to my good friend – one of my best friends – Simon Galbraith. When I called him, Simon had been working for Shell in Holland for a couple of years. I was working for a small software company near Guildford, but I had a burning itch to do something else.
I had a proposal for Simon. I was going to quit my job and write an online bug tracking system. Web-based collaboration was the future, I told him. Did he want to join me? Fast-forward thirteen years and Redgate is now a 300 strong company, with people based in three continents. We’ve got tens of products, hundreds of thousands of customers and shelves full of awards.
A couple of years ago I decided that I wanted to do things beyond focusing on Redgate, so I took a step back and started working part-time. Since then I’ve been involved in other things: I’ve been mentoring start-ups, I’ve been doing a second degree with the Open University, and I’ve been learning (what feels like very slowly) how to draw. In parallel, we’ve built up a seriously good management team to work with, and an excellent Council of Advisors to help guide us.
I feel that this natural progression has reached a point where Redgate does not need me any more, and that I’m at a point in my life where it makes sense for me to pursue my other interests.
What all of this means is that I’m going to leave Redgate at the end of January 2013. My plan is to take some time off, then go back to university full time to study. I’ll remain a major shareholder, sit on the Council of Advisors, and will still have a strong interest in how things are going at Redgate, but I won’t be involved in the day-to-day operation of the company.
I’m happy and proud of what I’ve been part of for the past 13 years, and I know that I leave Redgate as a fantastic company of incredible people who are doing wonderful things. I’m also excited, because I strongly suspect that Redgate’s best years are still to come. And I’m looking forward to watching them unfold.
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