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PHP Vendor Zend Names Co-Founder As CEO

He replaces Harold Goldberg, who came to Zend two years ago from a post as senior marketing manager with BMC Software.

Zend Technologies, supplier of a PHP integrated development environment and a PHP application server, has turned to a company co-founder as its new CEO.

Andi Gutmans, formerly CTO and senior VP of R&D and negotiator of alliances, has agreed to take the top post.

He replaces Harold Goldberg, who came to Zend two years ago from a post as senior marketing manager with BMC Software. Goldberg was hired to lead Zend in a new, more business-oriented direction. He has left to pursue other opportunities, a company official said.

"Zend is at an inflection point, with its participation in Eclipse [an open source programmer's workbench] and its large customer base," Gutmans said in an interview. In today's economy, he said, Web site builders "are looking for a lower-cost solution. PHP is the less-expensive alternative to Java."

Mark Burton, a former executive VP of sales at MySQL AB, was named Zend's executive chairman. Cameron Lester, a Zend director, said in an announcement of the change: "Gutmans' vision and execution skills have played a key role in guiding the company's strategy and have supported PHP's phenomenal growth. ... With Andi's appointment as CEO, we are now confident that Zend has the leadership team in place to accelerate the execution of its growth strategy."

Lester is a partner at Azure Capital Partners, a VC backer of Zend, along with Index Ventures. Zend is still privately held and doesn't report revenue. Gutmans said in an interview that if MySQL AB still existed as an independent company, Zend with 140 employees, would be "nipping at its heels" revenue-wise. "MySQL was a slightly bigger private open source company," he said. Sun Microsystems purchased MySQL for $1 billion last April.

Zend sells the $399 Zend Studio, an integrated development environment for PHP, and offers commercial support for the tool. It also sells by annual subscriptions starting at $1,500 the Zend Platform, an application server for PHP apps. Both generate revenue as PHP has become the most popular language in which to develop Web applications. Gutmans said more than one-third of all Web apps are written in PHP. "We call it the Visual Basic of the Web," he said. PHP applications run on a Web server, with the output generated as HTML Web pages.

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