Meet the Team

At Citus Data, our mission is to make it so developers never have to worry about scaling their database. Founded in 2011, we are a Y Combinator alumnus, venture backed by Khosla Ventures and Data Collective. Our expertise is in Postgres and distributed systems—and we have decades of collective experience managing Postgres databases in the cloud.

Umur Cubukcu
Umur Cubukcu

CEO & Co-Founder

I co-founded Citus Data to make it so SaaS businesses never have to worry about scaling their database. As CEO, I serve in both operational and strategic roles, doing whatever is needed to make my customers and my team successful.

Before founding Citus Data, I led enterprise software and IT projects at Boston Consulting Group. And I worked with some of the world’s biggest companies including Wal-Mart and Kimberly-Clark at demand analytics startup TrueDemand. At startup Mekanist.net, I served as CEO and put the company back on a growth path. I have an M.S. in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford—plus a keen interest in how scalable systems of record can help businesses to grow.

Ozgun Erdogan
Ozgun Erdogan

CTO & Co-Founder

I am a co-founder of Citus Data, where I am CTO and get to solve really interesting distributed database problems. I started Citus because I believe developers should not have to re-architect their application in order to scale out their database.

My love for technology started with a Commodore 64. I earned a B.S. from Galatasaray University and an M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford. Before Citus, I was a software developer in the distributed systems team at Amazon, where I designed distributed caching algorithms and built systems for scalable data analytics. My other awesome job title: Dad.

Sumedh Pathak
Sumedh Pathak

VP of Engineering & Co-Founder

I am a co-founder of Citus Data and the VP of Engineering. At Citus, I lead the effort to make sure our scale-out database is useful for app devs, so developers can focus on their application and not their database infrastructure. Before Citus, I worked as a software engineer at Amazon on the shopping cart app; I also worked on distributed data stores like Dynamo, and relational data stores such as Oracle. I have an M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford and a B.S. from University of Minnesota. In my free time, I keep it simple: you’ll find me with my family and throwing the tennis ball for our dog.

Craig Kerstiens
Craig Kerstiens

Head of Cloud

I joined the team at Citus Data to help create Citus Cloud, our fully-managed database as a service. As head of cloud, I am responsible for product, engineering, and operations for our cloud database. My goal at Citus: to give developers the experience of having the best DBA in the world.

Before Citus I ran product at Heroku Postgres and for Heroku core languages and APIs, where I launched support for Python, PHP, and Go. I also worked on Postgres’y things at Truviso, where I extended Postgres to be a streaming database. I have a degree in Management Information Systems from University of Alabama, which is where I fell in love with bbq and football.

Claire Giordano
Claire Giordano

VP of Product Marketing

I joined Citus Data to lead product marketing and raise awareness about the worry-free Postgres database that is Citus.

Before Citus, I served in leadership roles in engineering, product management, and marketing at Sun Microsystems, Quantum, and A9, an Amazon company. At Sun, I managed the engineering team that created Zones, and I led the effort to open source the OS. At A9, I launched the beta of a new advertising platform; at Quantum I delivered over 15 scale-out storage products. My career in tech all started in Providence: I earned an Sc.B. in Applied Mathematics & Computer Science from Brown University. Which explains why I’m a New Englander at heart.

Utku Azman
Utku Azman

Managing Director, EMEA

I love being part of a technology stack that enables organizations to observe, measure, and understand the swaths of data that are available today. As the managing director of EMEA, I manage our EMEA engineering team as well as leading all sorts of business and operational projects.

Before Citus, I served in senior business development roles at Intel, Oracle, and McKinsey. I was a product manager at Google, and a systems engineer at Alcatel-Lucent. I earned M.S. and B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cornell and an MBA from London Business School. When I'm not at work, I love to snowboard with my family.

Steffany Boldrini
Steffany Boldrini

Director of Sales

I joined Citus Data to help customers discover how Citus can help them grow their business and scale out their relational database.

Prior to Citus, I worked in award-winning sales teams at Sauce Labs and MongoDB. I was at Mongo during a period of massive growth, when the company grew from 100 to 500 employees, and I contributed to that growth, earning awards for best new territory. My degree is in Applied Science in Business Management from SJSU. I am originally from Brazil: I came to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2000 and never left. Someday I will learn to kitesurf.

Brian Cloutier
Brian Cloutier

Software Engineering

I joined Citus Data as a software engineer to build the world’s best scale-out relational database. In the cloud and based on Postgres, of course. Before Citus, I programmed gold mines, robots, cell phones, and everything in between. I have reversed network protocols, written systems to securely process credit cards, and once downloaded every free android app. I love thinking about distributed systems and feel right at home with the team at Citus Data.

Burak Velioglu
Burak Velioglu

Software Engineering

I joined Citus to work on challenging distributed systems problems—and to take the awesome database that is Postgres and make it scale out. I’ve been interested in data science and analytics since forever, or at least since college. Before Citus, I was a researcher on machine learning techniques for computer vision, NLP problems, and brain decoding. I earned my B.S. and M.S. degrees from METU in computer engineering. When I’m not at work, you’ll find me listening to classical music and working on my PhD.

Burak Yucesoy
Burak Yucesoy

Software Engineering

I am a software developer. I joined the team at Citus Data to work on distributed systems and databases and especially HyperLogLog. Before Citus, I worked as a software engineer at SAP on distributed databases; I did a research stint at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon; I contributed a translation of Ubuntu into Turkish; and I earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Bilkent University. In my free time, I play experimental games and build flying robots. One of my dreams is to have my own metal workshop.

Daniel Farina
Daniel Farina

Software Engineering

I joined Citus Data as a principal engineer to help build our fully-managed database as a service, Citus Cloud. My goal: to enable developers to forget about their database and focus on their application instead.

I first started to use Postgres in a computer science class at UC Berkeley. My later work at streaming database company Truviso also involved Postgres. And then I joined Heroku, where I was one of the earliest and longest-serving Postgres engineers, managing thousands of Postgres databases in the cloud. Another claim to fame: I created and maintain WAL-E. My free time is spent with my wife, newborn baby, and learning from the lessons of history.

Eren Başak
Eren Başak

Software Engineering

I am a software developer. I joined Citus Data to scale out Postgres and work on distributed systems. These days I work on Citus Cloud, our fully-managed database as a service. Before Citus, I worked on web and mobile applications, as well as geographical information systems and software quality measurement.

I have B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from Bilkent University. When I’m not at work, I spend my time with all kinds of motorcycles and my favorite space opera, StarCraft.

Furkan Sahin
Furkan Sahin

Software Engineering

My favorite field in Computer Science is distributed systems. So I joined Citus to work on really difficult distributed systems problems with an engineering team that not only loves what they do, but loves to share their expertise with the community. Before Citus, I worked on blockchain-based data distribution systems, distributed databases, and complex data visualizations. I have also worked on percentile approximations for PostgreSQL and distributed tables (my favorite type of table). My B.S. degree is in Computer Science from Bilkent University.

Hadi Moshayedi
Hadi Moshayedi

Software Engineering

I joined Citus to work on complex distributed systems problems. In my early days at Citus as the first employee, I created an open source columnar store for Postgres called cstore_fdw, along with a bevy of other useful Citus features. I am an ex-Googler and an active Google Chrome committer, contributing patches to event dispatching and processing in ChromeOS. I have won way too many programming competitions in my day. Nowadays, I dream of distributed databases and winning road bike races in Kitchener, Canada.

Hanna Kelman
Hanna Kelman

Marketing & Operations

I joined Citus Data as the first non-engineer to build and create the infrastructure we needed to grow the company. So I wear many hats. Today, I am in charge of events marketing. Outside of marketing, I support our CEO in managing HR and operations for our San Francisco office. I’m also in charge of internal events, from monthly team activities to our annual all-company offsite.

Before Citus, I served as facilities manager for Amazon Web Services in San Francisco. I have a BA from the University of Utah in mass communication, with an emphasis on visual journalism. In my free time, I’m a travel enthusiast, food explorer, and sports lover.

Jason Petersen
Jason Petersen

Software Engineering

As an early team member at Citus Data, I've had a front-row seat to watch the Citus distributed database grow and scale. And I’ve learned the true measure of a product is getting it into the hands of customers with the ease of use they intuitively appreciate. Commitment to doing even the little things well is what makes me most proud of my work, be it an elegant algorithm within AWS, clean Rails UI libraries, or a new SQL feature that just works. When I'm not obsessing over tasks at work, I love playing piano, gardening, sampling new restaurants, or biking around Denver's City Park with the kiddo.

Joe Nelson
Joe Nelson

Documentation

I joined Citus Data because I love Postgres and I believe developers need great documentation. I am a speaker, blogger, writer, and maintainer of popular open source projects, notably PostgREST a RESTful API server for PostgreSQL. In addition to programming, I enjoy teaching and organizing events such as the Bay Area Haskell Users Group. I earned a BS in Mathematics from UW Madison. I have a luddite affection for dumb phones, card games, and chalkboards.

Lukas Fittl
Lukas Fittl

Software Engineering

I joined Citus Data to make distributed databases easier to use—and to make it so developers never have to worry about scaling their database. As a principal cloud engineer, I helped to create Citus Cloud, our fully-managed database as a service that scales out Postgres. Before Citus, I was part of the founding team at Product Hunt and a co-founder at Soup.io & Spark59. I’m originally from Austria and yet nobody thinks I have an Austrian accent. When I’m not working, you’ll find me biking across the Golden Gate Bridge: the view of the golden gate never, ever gets old.

Marco Slot
Marco Slot

Software Engineering

I am a principal engineer at Citus Data, although I prefer to be called chief bug fixer. I've been working on distributed systems for over a decade. Citus is the most exciting technology I've worked on. Every time there is a new feature, countless new possibilities are created within the database. I work on all parts of Citus and on lots of crazy ideas. Before joining Citus Data, I worked on distributed operating systems, helped start Route 53 and CloudFront at Amazon, and got a PhD in cooperative self-driving cars. I love mountain hiking but I live in a flat country, so I travel around a lot and cycle on the flats of nearby dunes and tulip fields.

Metin Doslu
Metin Doslu

Software Engineering

I joined Citus Data to be part of the company that scales out Postgres, so that developers can focus on their app and not their database. At Citus, I am both a software developer and a project manager: I get to create and I get to lead. Before Citus, I worked as a software engineer on train traffic control software and on a mobile development environment in the IoT space. I love software and I code in my spare time, including writing predictive algorithms for College Football game scores. I have B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from Bogazici University. I sometimes wonder if the universe is deterministic or not.

Murat Tuncer
Murat Tuncer

Software Engineering

Challenging myself is important, which is why I joined Citus Data as a software developer: distributed systems are hard! And I love working on back-end development. Before Citus, I worked on R&D projects in distributed systems, network protocol analysis, and data mining—in the defense industry as well as at Microsoft and Real Networks. I graduated with a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Bilkent University. In my free time, I hang out with my wife and teenagers and build static ship models.

Önder Kalaci
Önder Kalaci

Software Engineering

I joined Citus Data as a software engineer to scale out Postgres. And to do something that had not yet been done: a full outer join of an awesome RDBMS with a robust distributed system. Before joining Citus, I worked as a software developer on an environmental monitoring system, a dynamic data race detection framework, and unified threat management. I earned a B.S. degree from METU and an M.S. degree from Boğaziçi University in computer engineering. I think thread level parallelism is the perfect topic for dinner table conversation.

Sai Krishna Srirampur
Sai Krishna Srirampur

Solutions Engineering

I am a solutions engineer at Citus Data. I spend my days onboarding customers, advising on data models and sharding strategies, and demo’ing the Citus distributed database to help developers understand how Citus can help them scale out Postgres. I have a Bachelors in Computer Science and a Masters in Computational Linguistics from IIIT in Hyderabad, India. And I’ve published several papers in the field of Natural Language Processing. Before Citus, I worked as a software developer at Epic Systems Corp. Fun fact: I am also a professional ping-pong player. You can catch me flipping, looping, and lobbing a few times a week. 🐋

Sally Martinez
Sally Martinez

Customer Success

I joined Citus Data as part of sales and customer success, to help people learn about how Citus can help them grow their business. Our mission: to make it so developers never have to worry about scaling their database. Before Citus Data, I worked in lead development and as an account manager at Percona, Jaspersoft, and MySQL. When I am not working to make customers successful, I hike the mountains of Idaho. I’m also a bit of a foodie, and I love trying out new restaurants as well as trying out new recipes at home.

Samay Sharma
Samay Sharma

Solutions Engineering

I joined Citus Data over 5 years ago as a software engineering intern before finishing my degree in Computer Science at IIIT Hyderabad. Flash forward to today, I am now the Lead Solutions Engineer. In my earlier years at Citus, I created new features and wrote documentation. These days I spend my time onboarding customers, and demo’ing our distributed database to those who want to learn whether our sharded Postgres will help them scale out their application. When I’m not at work, you’ll find me at the theatre watching Bollywood movies.

Will Leinweber
Will Leinweber

Security Engineering

I am a principal engineer and security lead at Citus Data. I joined Citus because I love working on challenging database problems and Citus gave me the opportunity to help create Citus Cloud, a fully-managed service we offer to keep your database worry-free. Before Citus, I spent 5 years working on the core Heroku Postgres team. I graduated with an M.S. in bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I love music, so when I’m not working, I’m probably at a concert or listening to music somewhere.

Advisors

Josh Berkus
Josh Berkus

Josh Berkus is a hacker emeritus of the PostgreSQL Core Team and is the community lead for Project Atomic at Red Hat. For many years, Josh served as CEO of PostgreSQL Experts, a professional services consulting company that provided full-stack application development for PostgreSQL. At Sun Microsystems, Josh was in charge of PostgreSQL for Solaris. And before Sun, Josh served as the open source community manager for the data warehousing startup, GreenPlum.

Peter van Hardenberg
Peter van Hardenberg

Peter van Hardenberg was an early team member at Heroku and co-founded Heroku's Department of Data, the team behind Heroku Postgres. Heroku was acquired by Salesforce.com for $212M, less than four years after founding. Earlier in his career, Peter worked as an Arctic oceanographer, game developer, and Shakespearean scholar. Peter lives in the heart of San Francisco and advises high-growth software companies like Citus Data, Zapproved, and Auth0.

Andres Freund
Andres Freund

Andres Freund is a PostgreSQL committer and developer, focusing on replication, scalability, and robustness. Andres served as a principal engineer at Citus Data for many years; prior to his work on Citus, Andres worked as a PostgreSQL developer and consultant at 2ndQuadrant. Currently Andres is a database architect at EnterpriseDB. Andres has been developing Postgres and other open source projects since 2005. In his free time, Andres enjoys climbing, diving, and paper books.

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