Software maker Talend names Concur veteran CEO

After almost seven years at the helm of data integration specialists Talend S.A., Mike Tuchen is passing the baton to a fifteen-year veteran of financial software maker Concur, Cristal Bemont. It's part of the company's pivot to go from roughly a quarter billion in annual revenue to an eventual goal of one billion annually, said Tuchen in an interview with ZDNet.
Written by Tiernan Ray, Senior Contributing Writer

Cristal Bemont, fifteen-year veteran of Concur, becomes the new chief executive of Talend S.A., replacing Michael H. Tuchen, the company said. 

Talend S.A.

Fifteen-year-old software vendor Talend S.A., which specializes in tools to transform and organize data for enterprises, on Thursday morning announced chief executive Michael H. Tuchen will step down and Christal Bemont, a fifteen-year veteran of financial software maker Concur, now part of SAP AG, will assume his position, effective immediately.

Talend will host a conference call at 8:30 am, Eastern time, this morning, and you can listen in to it at the company's investor relations Web site. Additional details of the announcements are contained in a form 8-K filing by Talend this morning. 

Talend also announced an update to the outlook for its Q4 revenue. Revenue is now expected in a range of $66.5 million to $67.0 million, up from a prior range of $65.4 million to $66.4 million. That is ahead of Street consensus for the company for $66.1 million. 

In an interview with ZDNet, Tuchen said that the company's goal to reach $1 billion in revenue — it is forecast to produce $247 million this year, and $277.4 million next year — makes now the right time to bring in new leadership.

"For us right now the major imperative for Talend is to really drive that race to a billion," said Tuchen.

"We were trying to find a leader who can strongly go to market with a focused cloud business, at scale, and take it from $250 million a year to a billion or more," said Tuchen. The search for Bemont began as a search for a chief revenue officer, the position that Bemont served at Concur. But Tuchen and the board decided she had what it takes to fill the top seat after evaluating her experience, including a "demonstrated ability to scale a cloud business and to go to market in a really unique way," said Tuchen. 

Bemont remarked that "there are a number of things I see right now in front of us with tremendous amount of parallel and opportunities to the last fifteen years at Concur." 

Asked what those parallels are, Bemont replied, "we are at a situation where we are at an inflection point that's very similar to when I started at Concur 15 years ago, where we are going from on-prem to cloud.

"There are things that occur, not just in service delivery or distribution, but in every single motion, and the way you think about how that changes everything has to be contemplated.

Tuchen will remain on the board of directors and "do everything I can to help Cristal be successful as board member."

Bemont brings with her two colleagues from Concur. 

Ann-Christel Graham will join as chief revenue officer, after serving in a number of sales positions at SAP Concur. Jamie Kiser will serve as Talend's chief customer officer after serving most recently as the vice president, global public sector for SAP Concur. 

"I'm building for a large, scalable book of business that starts with customers," said Bemont of the two additional hires. "The obvious thing to me was to bring in talent; what wasn't as obvious to me, until it was pointed out to me, is that this is now a C-suite with three female leaders," said Bemont. She noted also the presence of two existing female executive officers at Talend. "This is a significantly  diverse female leadership team," added Bemont.

Talend chair Steve Singh thanked Tuchen for leading a "transformation" for the company over the preceding 18 months and making it "a leader in cloud integration."

Talend also said its subscription revenue for the three months ending in December is expected to be in a range of $58.8 million to $59.2 million. It noted that represents 21% to 22% year-over-year growth.

The company's "Talend Cloud" is now at 50% of new annual recurring revenue, the company said. 

Nanci Caldwell, a member of the board of directors, is stepping down from the board after nearly three years, said Talend. Caldwell, who had been head of marketing at software maker Peoplesoft, in addition to decades at Hewlett-Packard, served on the compensation committee and the nominating and governance committee.

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