After Stepping Down as Sybase CEO Last Week, John Chen Joins Silver Lake as Senior Adviser Today
Private equity firm Silver Lake has appointed former Sybase CEO John Chen as a senior adviser. Chen had a long tenure at the SAP-owned enterprise mobility and database software and services company, having served as chairman and CEO since 1998.
SAP acquired Sybase in 2010 for $5.8 billion, but Chen stayed on until he stepped down just last Friday.
Chen was widely credited with turning Sybase around, as well as spearheading its moves into the fast-growing mobile enterprise arena.
In an interview with Bloomberg, the 57-year-old tech exec said:
“It’s time for me to relinquish the ownership of this franchise. I always thought about this like marrying off your daughter. You know it’s the right thing to do, you just want to hold on a little more — but it’s time to move on to other challenges.”
Joining the powerful Silver Lake, which is a big tech investor, appears to be that very challenge.
“I am very pleased to join Silver Lake, which is a central player in the global technology industry and really the only firm that works at large scale with a true tech focus,” said Mr. Chen in a statement.
Before Sybase, Chen was CEO and president of Siemens Pyramid, a unit of Siemens Nixdorf. He currently is on the boards of Disney and Wells Fargo. He is a graduate of Brown University and the California Institute of Technology.
“John will play a critical role in evaluating potential new investments and driving operational improvements and other strategic initiatives across our portfolio companies,” said Silver Lake managing director Charles Giancarlo, also in a statement. “His deep roots in the technology sector, with more than three decades of operational experience, as well as expertise on a range of political and economic policy issues, especially in Asia, will be extremely valuable.”