About Gene Kim

I've been researching high-performing technology organizations since 1999. I'm the multiple award-winning CTO, Tripwire founder, co-author of The DevOps Handbook, The Phoenix Project, and Visible Ops. I'm an DevOps Researcher, Theory of Constraints Jonah, a certified IS auditor and a rabid UX fan.

I am passionate about IT operations, security and compliance, and how IT organizations successfully transform from "good to great."

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The Reprint Of Internal Tripwire Departure Announcement


Yesterday, I posted my blog article about "An Exciting Day! Leaving Tripwire To Begin My Next Chapter In Life".  As I described in that article, it was a tough decision.

Shown below is the email announcement I sent out after a quick meeting to announce my departure from the company.

Date: July 1, 2010
Subject: The toughest and most bittersweet email I’ve written in 13 years

Hello, all –

After my identical twin sons were born in March, I had the luxury of spending two months with my family.  Some of it was around the clock, and some of it was while working half-time.  But, in either case, against all my expectations, it was the two best months of my life.

At the end of this period, my wife asked me, “Do you really have to go back?”

Of course, I responded, “Of course I need to go back.  That was our plan.”

But, over the next couple weeks, my wife kept bringing up how much life had changed after I returned back to work, especially for our two-year old, Reid.  And each time, I had more and more difficulty looking her in the eye and telling her again and again, “Darling, it’s absolutely impossible that we can live just like in those two great months.”

In the middle of some night, I wondered if one day, years later, when I’m like Jim [Johnson, Tripwire, CEO] with far more years behind him than ahead of him, as he squints in the dusky sunset of his life, whether I’d be thinking, “Holy crap. Should I have done it differently?”  Which led to making one of the toughest decisions I’ve made in my life.

Thirteen years after I co-founded Tripwire, I’ve decided to leave the company.

I told Jim, “First, I want what’s best for the company and I want the IPO to be successful.  But I’d like to discuss when would be the best time for me to step down, in a way that doesn’t jeopardize the first goal. It could be a couple weeks, a couple months, or even a couple of years. You tell me what would work best for you and the company. Because no one wants you to screw up the IPO.”

And Jim has been absolutely terrific in every way, and I am grateful to him and the entire team for making this sensitive and (for me) difficult process so easy. My last day will be July 23. And there will be a party at the Nines. And booze! It’s July 20th at 4:00 pm PST.

You might be asking, “So, what’s next for you, Gene?”  Well, first off, not traveling, much to the relief of my wife. And I’ll be working on some projects that I’ve back-burnered for years, including finishing a book that I started five years ago.

From the very bottom of my heart, I am grateful to everyone for making Tripwire such a success and company that so many people admire, as well as for the amazing memories I’ll always treasure, accumulated over the last 13 years. And I genuinely wish that everyone will someday have the freedom and ability to make the same choice I’m making.

So, to everyone: if I don’t see you before July 23rd, see you then.  And again, thank you for everything.

PS: I noticed that my copy of the book “How Even Auditors Can Find Love And Happiness” seems to be missing.  I really need it back. If you have it, please return it, and I promise, no questions asked.  There might even be some drink tickets in it for you.

PPS: Feel free to contact me anytime at genek(at)realgenekim.me.