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MongoDB snares ex-Oracle engineering veep and AWS database guru as new CTO

Big boots to fill as NoSQL company's founder moves on to advisory role

NoSQL database slinger MongoDB has appointed former Oracle and AWS tech leader Mark Porter as its chief technology officer.

Porter is set to replace Eliot Horowitz, the company's co-founder and developer of its core document-oriented database technology, whose departure was announced with the company's Q4 results. Horowitz is set to remain in the post until 10 July and will become a technical advisor thereafter.

The new CTO led AWS database efforts until September 2018, including the AWS Relational Database Service (RDS), Amazon Aurora and RDS for PostgreSQL, the AWS Database Migration Service and the AWS Schema Conversion Tool. As a vice president of engineering at Oracle Corporation, where he worked until February 2000, he was an early member of the Oracle Database Kernel group.

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More recently, Porter was CTO of Southeast Asian "super app" company Grab, which provides ride-hailing, food, package, grocery delivery, mobile payments and financial services. He has also worked as CTO of a division of News Corp, the media group.

"Mark's background in cloud computing, distributed systems and database engineering, from both a supplier and customer perspective, is quite rare," said Dev Ittycheria, president and CEO of MongoDB. "Mark's vast experience in building leading data persistence platforms, helping businesses execute for massive scale, and consuming next-generation technologies is exactly what we need for our next phase of growth."

Porter said he had seen relational databases become mainstream during his career, and also the rise of more modern data technologies. "MongoDB's document model and flexibility are vital for building modern, mission-critical applications," he gushed.

Despite Porter's experience, he might find Horowitz a tough act to follow. He was one of the core MongoDB kernel committers, co-founded the MongoDB in 2007, and as such is likely to have a deep understanding of open-source NoSQL databases and the developer community that surrounds them.

Announcing Horowitz's departure in March, CEO Ittycheria said: "Eliot, together with the other founders of MongoDB, realized 13 years ago that the incumbent database technology was ill-suited for the needs of developers building modern applications. Their insight and hard work resulted in the document model, a fundamentally different way to persist data that addresses the rigidity and scalability limitations of relational databases."

Observers in the NoSQL developer community might question whether Porter, with his background in relational databases, has an equal commitment to the cause. ®

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