Bigcommerce takes on Twitter's 'fail whale' killer Chris Fry

Twitter's reputed 'fail whale' killer Christopher Fry has joined the board of advisors of Australian e-commerce startup Bigcommerce in a bid to help the company scale up its operation following its AU$58 million fundraising effort in November.

Australian-founded e-commerce platform Bigcommerce has welcomed to its advisory board Christopher Fry, former head of engineering at Twitter, and the man widely credited with killing off the social network's 'fail whale' outage error message.

Bicommerce announced on December 3 that Fry, who is also the former head of engineering at Salesforce.com, had joined its board of advisors. The company said it is set to draw upon his experience in scaling the engineering operations at Twitter and Salesforce.com.

In this new role, Fry will work closely with Bigcommerce product and development teams to accelerate the company's road map and mission to deliver scalable e-commerce capabilities to businesses globally.

While at Twitter, Fry scaled the engineering team from 500 to 1,000 engineers, leading the team credited with discontinuing the "fail whale" over-capacity error message in 2013, and improving the platform's uptime during a period of rapid user growth.

He was also responsible for platform software development, and played a key role in the development of Chatter, during a period when Salesforce.com grew its customer base from 12,500 to more than 100,000.

"I see parallels in the growth that Salesforce.com experienced in the late 2000s to what Bigcommerce is seeing right now," said Fry. "Bigcommerce is another example of a great, cloud-based software company that small and medium businesses can utilise to grow in ways that previously weren't accessible to them."

His inclusion on Bigcommerce's board of advisors comes only weeks after the company successfully raised $50 million in a Series D funding round.

On November 19, when the round was announced, the company said it planned to use the funds to invest in product development, aggressively grow sales and marketing, and expand its business to new markets. It is currently working to aggressively grow its engineering teams in San Francisco, Austin, and Sydney.

"As we double the size of our engineering team worldwide, Chris will be a phenomenal resource to help us continue executing at a high level and delivering a platform that enables merchants of all sizes to sell and compete effectively online," said Bigcommerce co-founder and CEO Eddie Machaalani.

In October, Bigcommerce inked an integration deal with Alibaba Group, the Chinese online e-commerce giant that had the largest IPO ever when it listed on the New York Stock Exchange in September.

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