Skip to content

Search the site


MongoDB hires AWS veteran Jim Scharf as new CTO

Rapidly growing company had struggled to find the perfect CTO fit after co-founder Eliot Horowitz's departure.

MongoDB has appointed an influential AWS veteran, Jim Scharf, as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO), in a coup for the company.

Scharf joins after 17 years at AWS – most recently serving as VP of AWS Identity; where he operated a service that enforces access control for the AWS cloud at over a billion requests per second; operating globally across 20 regions including both public and top secret AWS regions.

One of the hyperscaler’s first employees, Scharf was a founding owner of six services, general manager for Amazon DynamoDB. He is the author of 20 US patents in the area of cloud computing and, his social footprint suggests, a passionate advocate for doing more to combat climate change.

The post-Horowitz hires...

The rapidly growing cloud database business saw co-founder and CTO Eliot Horowitz step down in 2020 after nearly 13 years. (Horowitz is now running a startup focused on open source robotics software.)

CTO Mark Porter replaced Horowitz as CTO and spent three years at MongoDB – the first database company to go public in 25+ years – before leaving this summer. (He now sits on the board of GitLab.)

Scharf’s appointment was welcomed by MongoDB’s CEO Dev Ittycheria, who said: “Jim is a seasoned technologist and leader with a successful track record of building and scaling the teams, processes and technologies behind the sophisticated software millions of customers rely on every day.

"Given his experience, I am confident that Jim's leadership will accelerate the pace of innovation at MongoDB and enable our developer data platform to further expand in exciting new areas such as AI, edge computing, and beyond,” MongoDB's President and CEO added.

See also: MongoDB takes .local literally: Takes cloud DBaaS Atlas to the Edge, reveals new AI toolings

New MongoDB CTO Scharf joins as the company reported revenue of $424 million for its last reported quarter; a 40% year-on-year increase that came as it added 1,900 new customers during that quarter alone.

That astonishing growth has been powered by a very slick go-to-market approach. Customers at the MongoDB.local event in London last week spoke almost unanimously to The Stack about the level of support and training they got as they started using its managed cloud database.

This approach was emphasised by CEO Ittycheria on an August 31 earnings call. He said: “As much as we innovate on our products, we also continuously innovate on how we engage with our customers.

“We are highly focused on reducing friction in the sales process so we can acquire more workloads quickly and cost-effectively… Historically, the most significant source of friction has been negotiating with customers to secure an upfront Atlas commitment since it can be hard for customers to forecast consumption growth for a new workload.”

“Several years ago, we began reducing the importance of upfront commitments in our go-to-market process to accelerate workload acquisition. For example, we no longer incentivize reps to sign customers to one-year commitments. Obviously, this has short-term impacts on our cash flow but positions us better for the longer term by accelerating workload acquisition. We are pleased with the impact these changes have had in the business in the first half of the year" Ittycheria said.

See also: MongoDB takes “Queryable Encryption” wizardry GA -- say it has improved latency, useability