Acquia, the commercial arm of Drupal, today named Thomas Erickson (right) as its new CEO.
The announcement is happening around the company's DrupalCon show in Washington, D.C..
Erickson, a former CEO of Systinet, was already on the Acquia board.
I had a chance to chat with Erickson Monday, as he was leaving the Open Source Think Tank in Napa.
Erickson said Drupal is now positioning itself as the world's leading social publishing system. He described future developments as aiming at both increased usability and scalability:
Our goal is that Drupal will be substantially easier to use, so with a few clicks you have a Web site. That's what it will become. You'l l go through a set of menus. That will expand its use dramatically. We'll also extend its scalability so we learn more about hosting higher performance sites, which are currently custom built instead of tool built.
Erickson estimated Drupal now runs over 400,000 Web sites, and that the next wave will include a lot of enterprises that will value paid support. Some are likely to be companies that used Vignette or Interwoven in the past.
He said that at the Think Tank he met the heads of other open source firms reporting great results, like JasperSoft and mySQL, and that DrupalCon itself has grown 50% year over year.
One point Erickson did emphasize was that "this is still Dries' (Buytaert) company. We're going to follow Dries' strategy about making Drupal more successful. We're going to help with contributions from the community, round out the product so it's more complete," even add a search capability.
"We just found out last week Intel runs their whole Intranet off Drupal," Erickson added, illustrating one key difference between open source and proprietary management.
Proprietary managers need to find customers, while those in open source just need to convert their users.
So, Intel, when can Tom expect a check?