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A Cloud Guru Expands C-Suite to Drive Next Phase of Growth

Forrest Brazeal
Forrest Brazeal

Chief Financial Officer John Ritchie, Chief People Officer Lorraine Vargas Townsend join senior leadership team

Austin, TX – October 22, 2020: A Cloud Guru (ACG), the leader in modern tech skills development, today announced the expansion of its C-suite with two new hires: John Ritchie, Chief Financial Officer, and Lorraine Vargas Townsend, Chief People Officer. Following a record-breaking year, both executives bring a history of scaling high-growth companies to the senior leadership team.

“In 2015, we set out to democratize cloud learning. It’s been humbling to chip away at the global tech skills gap, but our work is just beginning,” said Sam Kroonenberg, CEO of A Cloud Guru. “As we continue to grow, we need strong, passionate leaders that can elevate our company without losing sight of our core values. John and Lorraine both have proven track records with high-growth companies, and I have the utmost confidence that their strengths and management styles will help us achieve our vision.”

John Ritchie has extensive experience with companies at this stage of growth, including several he led to IPO. He’s held a variety of CFO roles at public and private companies over the last 20 years, including Splash Technology, Electronics for Imaging, Ubiquiti Networks, Telerik and most recently, Aerohive Networks, a cloud managed network provider. One of Ritchie’s areas of focus was Aerohive’s SaaS business. During his tenure, SaaS revenues grew approximately 25% annually while gross margins increased over 800 basis points.

“With cloud adoption accelerating, the need for A Cloud Guru is indisputable. Individuals and businesses are itching for what A Cloud Guru has to offer, which makes its growth potential limitless,” said John Ritchie, Chief Financial Officer at A Cloud Guru. “ACG has the ideal combination of great people and great products. This gives me a unique opportunity to build on a rock solid foundation to position the company for its next phase of growth.”

Lorraine Vargas Townsend is a disruptive human resources leader with over a decade of experience at SaaS companies and large, multinational organizations. She was formerly the Chief People Officer of Mendix, where she scaled the team from 500 to 1000, adding over 300 hires in one year, and specializes in implementing inclusive, people-first strategies that position career progression as the core of the employee experience.

“I’ve dedicated my career to giving people access to opportunities that can change their lives. The parallels between this personal mission and A Cloud Guru’s are undeniable,” said Lorraine Vargas Townsend, Chief People Officer at A Cloud Guru. “When you think about traditional tech company culture, it’s clear that A Cloud Guru is different. It has a clear purpose and authentic leaders. It’s already recognized as a top place to work, and I’m excited to make what’s already thriving even stronger, and to build a company culture that’s impenetrable regardless of how quickly it grows.”

The C-suite expansion follows the appointment of Katie Bullard to President of A Cloud Guru in December 2019. Bullard was brought on to accelerate the company’s growth, which preceded the company’s recent financial milestone: reaching $80M in ARR, a growth rate of 362%. To learn more about A Cloud Guru, visit acloudguru.com. For a list of open positions, see here

About A Cloud Guru

A Cloud Guru is driven by a simple mission — to teach the world to cloud. We believe people learn best by doing. That’s why our in-house cloud experts go to ridiculous lengths to design fresh, engaging, and hands-on learning tools that empower both individuals and organizations to stay ahead of the technology curve. As the world’s most comprehensive, hands-on, and effective platform for cloud learning, ACG has enabled more than 2 million learners and 4,000 organizations to achieve a brighter future.

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