ClamAV Founders Moving On From Sourcefire

Letting go can be hard to do

As any parent can tell you, one of the most difficult things we have to do is let go. Letting your children spread their wings and fly on their own without your help is hard and scary. The same principle holds true for founders of companies and open source projects. Leaving something you have created with your own two hands (along with the help of many others) is a difficult decision. Many wind up staying attached way too long and in fact may delay the natural development and growth, whether it be a child, an open source project or company. That day has come for the founders of the ClamAV project.

Five years after they were acquired by Sourcefire and 10 years after founding the widely successful anti-virus, endpoint security project the four founders - Tomasz Kojm, Alberto Wu, Luca Gibelli and Edwin Török - have announced they are leaving Sourcefire and the ClamAV team to pursue other projects and activities.

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When you think about it, having the four of them remain on for five years after being acquired was pretty amazing. A real testament to the environment that Sourcefire has created. That sort of thing is unheard of. In many tech acquisitions, the acquired founders are usually looking to sneak out the door as soon as their non-competes or employment contracts let them. Obviously, though, the four of these dedicated open source security folks felt they still had work to do on ClamAV.

Another factor in their decision had to be what would ClamAV be like without them. They obviously had deep ties to the project and the community. They would not leave unless they felt the project was in good hands. In that regard, they probably could not have found a better place for ClamAV than Sourcefire. With a deep cultural heritage of supporting open source (they are the creators and caretakers of Snort as well), as well as a renowned security team, not to mention the deep pockets of a public company, Sourcefire is the perfect caretaker for ClamAV. I am sure Tomasz and team factored this into their decision to move on.

As for ClamAV, Joel Esler, Sourcefire's open source community manager, will handle the community. Sourcefire's renowned VRT (vulnerability research team) will continue making sure that ClamAV and its millions of customers and hundreds of millions of desktops it protects has the latest signatures and defenses to do the job.

I don't think there is anyone in this equation, the founders, Sourcefire, the community and most of all their customers, who has any reason to worry or doubt the future of this great open source security project.

In the meantime, Tomasz and team have not said too much about what new adventures they are going to embark on. With the experience and success they had with ClamAV, I can't wait to see what they do next. Good luck to them and thanks for giving us ClamAV. Thanks to Sourcefire for keeping it alive and thriving and supporting open source security.

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