HashiCorp loses its Hashi, keeps the Corp as co-founder waves goodbye

HashiCorp co-founder Mitchell Hashimoto is leaving the building.

Despite lending his name to the company, Mitchell Hashimoto confirmed in a farewell letter that he will part ways with the cloud infrastructure outfit. His decision follows a lengthy process that began with stepping down as CEO in 2016 before finally departing the leadership team and board of directors in 2021.

HashiCorp was founded in 2012 by Hashimoto and Armon Dadgar, currently CTO. The present CEO is Dave McJannet, who joined the company in 2016 after stints at Hortonworks, VMware, and Microsoft.

The outgoing exec paid tribute to McJannet and Dadgar in the missive, but having spent much of his career in HashiCorp, and after welcoming his first child in September, has decided it is time to move on.

HashiCorp itself has also made some dramatic changes of late. The company recently made the controversial decision to adopt the Business Source License while Hashimoto transitioned into a full-time engineering role. He is viewed, by all accounts, as an excellent engineer.

In 2021, Hashimoto said: “I will remain a passionate and active HashiCorp employee and engineering leader.”

Two years later, Hashimoto has decided he would prefer to spend more time with his family and, in his words, “dabble in new areas.”

His HashiCorp era is seen by many in the industry as impressive. The company rode the multi-cloud wave, and a substantial community formed around its projects. According to the GitHub 2023 State of the Octoverse report, adoption of the HashiCorp Configuration Language has continued to grow – 36 percent year on year – indicating that developers are opting for declarative languages for cloud deployments.

However, storm clouds are gathering on the HashiCorp horizon. The company’s licensing decision has resulted in the arrival of open source competition in the form of OpenTofu.

Hashimoto was vague on what would come next. He has been working on Ghostty, a terminal emulator side project, since 2021 and recently updated its developer blog.

One wag told The Register that the departure of a founder whose name formed part of a company’s branding was rarely a signifier of happier times. HashiCorp declined to comment.

Social media posts were primarily positive, with Hashimoto offered congratulations for his work and good wishes for the future. There was, however, speculation on what this might mean for HashiCorp and the company’s future direction. ®


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