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Doug Merritt steps down as Splunk CEO

Graham Smith, chair of the firm’s Board of Directors, has been appointed interim CEO

Magenta Splunk sign on a building

Data platform provider Splunk has announced that CEO Doug Merritt is stepping down after six years in the role, with Graham Smith, chair of the firm’s Board of Directors, appointed interim CEO.

With previous spells at Cisco, PeopleSoft and SAP, Merritt joined Splunk in 2014 and went on to replace Godfrey Sullivan as the company’s CEO just a year later. 

Under Merritt’s leadership, the firm has moved towards providing its software as a service and has grown from $302 million in revenue in fiscal 2014 to almost $3 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2022.

“As the Board and I considered how to best position Splunk for long-term success and continued growth,” Merritt said, “We determined now is the right time to transition to our next phase of leadership - in particular, the Board is focused on identifying a leader with a proven track record of scaling operations and growing multi-billion dollar enterprises. 

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside our world-class team, who I’m confident will continue to ensure Splunk is the partner of choice to the most forward-thinking and data-centric organisations on the planet.”

New interim CEO Graham Smith has served as a member of the Splunk Board since 2011 and as Chair since 2019. He has also served in a number of positions at Salesforce, including as CFO between December 2007 and July 2014. 

In his new role, the company said Smith will focus on investments and priorities for the upcoming fiscal year to help continue its customer and cloud transformation progress. Smith will retain his Chair responsibilities while the firm conducts its full-time CEO search.

“On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Doug for his innumerable contributions and dedicated years of service to Splunk,” said Smith. “Since his appointment as CEO in 2015, Doug has led Splunk through critical product and business model transformations, which have enabled the company to become the leading data platform across Security, Observability and IT. 

“With the proven success of our ongoing cloud transformation and our team’s strong execution, we are confident that Splunk is well-positioned for its next phase of growth.”

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