Docker co-founder Solomon Hykes leaving company, cites need for enterprise-focused CTO

Docker founder and CTO Solomon Hykes opens DockerCon in Seattle June 20, 2016. (GeekWire/Dan Richman)

Solomon Hykes, who as Docker co-founder and chief technical officer laid the groundwork for one of the most quickly adopted enterprise computing technologies ever developed, is leaving the company.

Hykes, 34, was the main force behind Docker’s container platform, which made an interesting but inscrutable part of the Linux operating system accessible to a huge swath of developers. Docker rode interest in containers to a massive amount of venture-capital funding, but it has struggled to turn that technology advantage into dollars nearly a year after veteran enterprise technology executive Steve Singh became Docker’s CEO.

“To take advantage of this opportunity, we need a CTO by Steve’s side with decades of experience shipping and supporting software for the largest corporations in the world. So I now have a new role: to help find that ideal CTO, provide the occasional bit of advice, and get out of the team’s way as they continue to build a juggernaut of a business,” Hykes wrote in a post on Docker’s blog that briefly crashed under the surge of traffic.

Containers allow software developers and operations administrators to create software that can run across multiple machines or multiple clouds by packaging it into lightweight, well, containers. It’s the next evolution of virtualization technology, but interest in containers has exploded because unlike virtual machines, containers can be launched and shut down very quickly and can move much more easily between different servers.