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Big Data Software Stumbles: Cloudera CEO Resigns, CLDR Stock Plummets

Tom Lounibos, managing director, Accenture Ventures

The other shoe dropped today in the big data and Hadoop software market. Indeed, Cloudera's stock plummeted more than 40 percent this morning after the company disclosed a weak revenue forecast, and CEO Tom Reilly resigned (effective on July 31).

Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly
Exiting Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly
Cloudera Chairman and Interim CEO Martin Cole

The news comes a few months after Cloudera and Hortonworks merged in a highly scrutinized deal, and only about a week after rival MapR confirmed a range of financial and business challenges.

Adding insult to injury, Google today acquired Looker for $2.6 billion in cash -- showing that there's big demand for end-to-end cloud platforms that provide easy-to-consume data analysis capabilities.

In a lengthy prepared statement about Cloudera's latest business performance and challenges, Reilly said:

"We continue to make substantial progress toward our goal of delivering the industry's first enterprise data cloud, designed for powerful analytics across hybrid and multi-cloud environments with common security and governance. Our enterprise customers are excited about extending their analytic workloads to the public cloud through Cloudera Data Platform, which will be available this summer. While some customers in the first quarter elected to postpone renewal and expansion of their agreements in anticipation of the new platform's release, affecting our full year outlook, this customer feedback and enthusiasm validates demand for enterprise data cloud solutions in our target market. Customers are benefiting from our offerings today, solving complex data management and analytic use cases spanning the Edge to AI, and we look forward to helping them accelerate their journey to the cloud with Cloudera Data Platform."

Cloudera Chairman Martin Cole has been named interim CEO while the board seeks a permanent replacement for Reilly.

Cloudera Financial Results: What Went Wrong

For the three months ended April 30, 2019, Cloudera said:

  • Revenue was $187.47 million, up from $103.46 million last year.
  • Net loss was $103.13 million, larger than a $52.32 million net loss last year.

The earnings generally beat Wall Street's expectations, revenues were about $1 million short of Wall Street's predictions, and the company's new full-year outlook bitterly disappointed Wall Street.

Read between the lines, and Cloudera desperately needs its new Cloudera Data Platform to generate significant revenues when the offering launches in mid-2019.

Late to Pure Public Cloud Subscription Models

ChannelE2E outlined some of what went wrong with Cloudera, MapR and the big data software market in this blog -- highlighting how the overall industry was generally late to pure cloud services while easy-to-consume alternatives emerged on Amazon Web Services and other public clouds.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.