Meet the 15 power players leading $43 billion Australian software giant Atlassian to growth in tough times, even as it competes with Microsoft

  • The $43 billion Australian software giant Atlassian has stayed resilient through the coronavirus pandemic, as its catalog of collaboration software drove thousands of new customers during the remote work boom.
  • One of Atlassian's top priorities is investing aggressively in its cloud products, as well as making sure they work well with each other.
  • Atlassian faces some competition from Microsoft, but Gregg Moskowitz, managing director at Mizuho, says Atlassian has a stronger product portfolio and a different way of gaining customers.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Atlassian began as an idea by college friends Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes in 2002: A company dedicated to making tools for their fellow software developers.

Eighteen years or so later, Atlassian is now Australia's biggest tech success story, valued at $43 billion, with its stock price growing sixfold since its 2015 IPO. As the world continues to turn to software to power everything from finance to fitness, Atlassian has grown accordingly, adding 3,000 new customers in its most recent quarter, and 6,000 the quarter before — even amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

In that quarter, the company reported on Thursday, it booked some $430 million in revenue, up 29% from the same period last year. Its stock is up 44% from the beginning of the year, putting it well ahead of the turbulence that's rocked the stock market.

It all speaks to the momentum that Atlassian has built in the industry: Its flagship product Jira, which is used for tracking software projects, is much stronger than its competitors, says Gregg Moskowitz, managing director at Mizuho Financial Group, who watches Atlassian closely. He expects that its business will only grow more over time, even if Atlassian faces some coronavirus-related impact on smaller customers or customers in travel and hospitality.

Plus, customers will prioritize continuing to pay for Atlassian's products since it helps employees work together remotely, Moskowitz says.

"There can be additional challenges although we really think Atlassian will be more resilient than most software companies," Moskowitz said.

The one company that could possibly pose as a threat over time is Microsoft, as the tech titan gets more into the developer space, Moskowitz says — though he's not too concerned about it, given Atlassian's lead in the specific niches in which it plays. 

"There's a very large technology gap that exists in the market where Atlassian plays," Moskowitz said. "Microsoft has been here longer than Atlassian. There certainly hasn't been anything to derail Atlassian's growth. Customers will unquestionably view Atlassian as a superior offering."

Meet the 15 executives leading Atlassian's growth, even amid the coronavirus pandemic:

Mike Cannon-Brookes

Title: Cofounder and co-CEO

Mike Cannon-Brookes cofounded the Australian software giant Atlassian with his best friend Scott Farquhar. 

At Atlassian, Cannon-Brookes oversees the company's product and engineering teams, including its flagship software project tracking software Jira and its project management software Confluence. 

"From everything I can tell, [Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar] work seamlessly together," Moskowitz said. "Co-CEO roles can be tricky. They don't always work as well as advertised. It truly has been an important part to the story. They remain good friends and are also neighbors."

Outside of Atlassian, Cannon-Brookes also invests in and advises several small startups, works as a venture partner at the Australian firm Blackbird Ventures, and teaches computer science at the University of New South Wales, where he attended school.


Scott Farquhar

Title: Cofounder and co-CEO

Scott Farquhar cofounded and leads Atlassian with his friend Mike Cannon-Brookes, who met in college and founded the company shortly after graduation in 2002. Since then, Atlassian has grown to count 60,000 organizations as users.

Farquhar oversees the company's go-to-market, business, and IT teams. Moskowitz says Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar have also succeeded in fostering a strong culture and environment within the company. 

Notably, Atlassian sells from the bottom up, by offering free versions of their software for individual developers to use. When developers start using it and loving it, they bring it to their companies, who become paid customers. Moskowitz says Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar have a "long-term orientation" on where the company is going, which has helped Atlassian grow.

"They're not going to make decisions on whether we can drive a couple of extra points for this quarter and this year," Moskowitz said. "It's more predicated on the belief that we're delivering value to our customers, and we're listening to them and building much better products. That's going to benefit everyone in the end, including the company's financials and general returns." 

Outside of Atlassian, Farquhar invests in and advises in several small startups, and he's also a principal at Australian firm Skip Capital.

Anu Bharadwaj

Title: Head of Platform and Enterprise Cloud and Vice President of Product

Reports to: Mike Cannon-Brookes, cofounder and co-CEO

Anu Bharadwaj is in charge of Atlassian's current top priority, which is to bring its cloud products to customers.

Bharadwaj runs Atlassian's cloud business and focuses on large business customers. She also runs Atlassian's product management teams. She has worked at the company for about three and a half years.  

Bharadwaj started at Atlassian as the group product manager of Atlassian's flagship software planning product Jira. On her watch, Jira's user base and revenue grew steadily, even as it expanded to include new industry-specific products like Jira Service Desk. 

She also plays a key role in the transformation of Atlassian's business, as products like Jira, BitBucket, and Confluence move from traditional server-based products to the cloud.

Prior to Atlassian, Bharadwaj worked at Microsoft for over 10 years, where she worked on and managed developer tools.

Archana Rao

Title: Chief Information Officer

Reports to: Scott Farquhar, cofounder and co-CEO

Archana Rao is responsible for Atlassian's IT systems, and has worked at the company for about two and a half years. During the coronavirus pandemic, she led the company in transitioning to remote work. 

Prior to joining Atlassian, Rao has led IT teams at Veritas Technologies, Symantec, and Cisco. Throughout her career, she has also helped large companies integrate their software with companies they acquired. 

Cameron Deatsch

Title: Chief Revenue Officer

Reports to: Scott Farquhar, cofounder and co-CEO

Cameron Deatsch runs Atlassian's marketing, sales and support organizations. He has worked at Atlassian for nearly eight years now and led various teams. That includes Atlassian's Advocacy team, which handles sales and customer service inquiries, growth and online sales, and builds the company's sales plans and user growth.

Before Atlassian, Cameron headed marketing at Jive Software where he led sales training and sales development. 

Erika Fisher

Title: General Counsel

Reports to: Scott Farquhar, cofounder and co-CEO

As general counsel of Atlassian, Erika Fisher leads the company's legal, policy, and risk and compliance teams. She also manages Atlassian's Board of Directors and serves as an executive adviser on issues like public filings, data privacy, security, and public policy in various parts around the world.

Fisher has worked at Atlassian for over four years. During her time at the company, she has also served as legal counsel and head of privacy. 

James Beer

Title: Chief Financial Officer

Reports to: Scott Farquhar, cofounder and co-CEO

As CFO, James Beer oversees Atlassian's finance and IT organizations, and he has worked at the company for two and a half years.

Prior to Atlassian, Beer has served as CFO at McKesson, Symantec, and American Airlines. He also serves as a board member of various companies, including ForeScout.

Moskowitz notes that Atlassian is Beer's first CFO gig at a high-growth company, while his previous jobs were at larger, more established ones. However, he says that from his standpoint, it was a "smooth transition."

"He's seen a lot over the years," Moskowitz said. "He brings CFO level experience frankly not just to software, but to other industries like airline and healthcare."

Joff Redfern

Title: Head of Product for Atlassian's Work Management for Business Teams solutions and Vice President of Product

Reports to: Mike Cannon-Brookes, cofounder and co-CEO

Joff Redfern heads Atlassian's products that help business teams work together, like Confluence and Trello. He has worked at Atlassian for over three years. 

This isn't Redfern's first gig as a vice president of product. Before Atlassian, he has also held a similar role at LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Fidelity Investments.

Jose Morales

Title: Head of Field Operations

Reports to: Scott Farquhar, cofounder and co-CEO

Jose Morales has worked at Atlassian for over nine years now, and he's responsible for selling Atlassian products to businesses around the world. He heads global sales and partnerships.

Before his current role, Morales served as the vice president of corporate development, where he worked with the company's acquisitions like HipChat (which was discontinued in 2018) and supported the company's business units.

Prior to Atlassian, Morales worked at companies like TIBCO Jaspersoft and PeopleSoft.

Jurgen Spangl

Title: Chief Experience Officer

Reports to: Mike Cannon-Brookes, cofounder and co-CEO

As chief experience officer, Jurgen Spangl is in charge of user experience and design for Atlassian's products to make sure they are meeting the needs of customers.

He has worked at Atlassian for over eight and a half years, where he started as head of design, leading designers, researchers, and writers working with products like Jira, Trello, Confluence, and Bitbucket. He also scaled the design team from six employees to over 200 around the world and rolled out Atlassian's design guidelines.

Outside of Atlassian, he's a guest lecturer on interaction design at the University of Sydney.

Mike Tria

Title: Head of Platform

Reports to: Mike Cannon-Brookes, cofounder and co-CEO

Mike Tria has worked at Atlassian for about four and a half years, and he's responsible for building the Atlassian Cloud Platform. He also led the migration of Atlassian's products to Amazon Web Services. He leads Atlassian's search, AI features, and more. 

He started at Atlassian as the head of developer platform, where he ran cloud infrastructure for products like Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket. 

Moskowitz says cloud is a major priority for Atlassian.

"I do think cloud is first and foremost," Moskowitz said. "We talked about scalability improvements so they can handle any customers in cloud as well."

Before Atlassian, Tria has worked at various smaller companies like BackOps, Plum District, and Ning.

Noah Wasmer

Title: Head of Tech Teams and Vice President of Product

Reports to: Mike Cannon-Brookes, cofounder and co-CEO

Last year, Atlassian hired Noah Wasmer as its first head of tech teams, and he's now been at Atlassian for a year and half. He leads product offerings like Jira Software, Jira Service Desk, Opsgenie, and Bitbucket.

Wasmer previously as a senior vice president and general manager at VMware, where he oversaw productivity apps and other products. He also had stints at Apple and MobileIron.

Robert Chatwani

Title: Chief Marketing Officer

Reports to: Scott Farquhar, cofounder and co-CEO

Robert Chatwani drives Atlassian's marketing strategy, and he has been working at the company for over three years. He helps grow the user base for adopting the products as well as marketing them to existing customers.

Before Atlassian, he served as CMO at custom t-shirt startup Teespring. Prior to that, he was a 12-year veteran of Ebay, where he led marketing, consumer branding, and online advertising for eBay North America, as well as its customer and internet marketing teams. 

"I came away very impressed with his marketing acumen and especially his digital marketing expertise," Moskowitz said. "I think he's going to add more to this company going forward with respect to catering to customer preferences, building overall awareness of the Atlassian product line, and driving more momentum over time."

Sri Viswanath

Title: Chief Technology Officer

Reports to: Mike Cannon-Brookes, cofounder and co-CEO

Sri Viswanath leads Atlassian's R&D engineering team and has been at the company for four and a half years. Before that, he served as CTO at Groupon. He has also worked at other companies like VMware, Ning, and Sun Microsystems.

Outside of Atlassian, he serves as a board member of Splunk, which builds software that provides data on security and IT operations.

Tami Rosen

Title: Chief People Officer

Reports to: Scott Farquhar, cofounder and co-CEO

Tami Rosen just joined Atlassian in January. Shortly after, when the coronavirus erupted worldwide, she led workplace changes related to the pandemic.

Before Atlassian, Rosen served as chief people officer of Luminar Technologies, which produces sensor technologies for the autonomous vehicle industry. She has also worked at Quora, Apple, and Goldman Sachs.

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