Tasktop's Board of Directors

Mik is the founder and CEO of Tasktop. He drives the strategic direction of the company and promotes a culture of customer-centric innovation. Before Tasktop, Mik launched a series of open source projects that changed how software developers collaborate. As a research scientist at Xerox PARC, he created the first aspect-oriented development environment. He received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia, and his research interests focus on Value Stream Architecture. Mik has been named a JavaOne Rock Star speaker and one of the Top 10 Java writers of the decade by IBM developerWorks. In 2012 he was awarded the Business in Vancouver Top 40 under 40, and has been a World Technology Awards finalist in the IT Software category. Mik is the editor of the new IEEE Software department On DevOps.

Mik Kersten

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Mik KerstenMik Kersten

Neelan has extensive technology management experience and recently served as the COO of Lexcycle, the company behind Stanza, which became the most popular e-book reader for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. Lexcycle was acquired by Amazon in 2009. Previously, Neelan served as COO of SpringSource, the venture backed open source infrastructure software company behind the Spring Framework. SpringSource was acquired by VMware in 2009. Prior to that, Neelan served as co-founder and president of SolarMetric, a leading object/relational mapping provider, which was acquired by BEA Systems in 2005. At BEA, he was instrumental in the open sourcing of the acclaimed object/relational mapping tool Kodo as OpenJPA. Neelan has also worked for Andersen Consulting Strategic Services and Exxon Research & Engineering.

A graduate of MIT (and part of the well-publicized MIT Blackjack team), Neelan holds graduate degrees from Stevens Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Neelan Choksi

Board Member

Neelan ChoksiNeelan Choksi

George Kadifa is a Managing Director focused on Sumeru’s software investments and is a member of the Investment Committee. He has three decades of operating experience in the technology sector.

Prior to co-founding Sumeru Equity Partners, George was Executive Vice President at HP, reporting to the CEO and member of Executive Committee. He was responsible for leading growth initiatives and alliance programs with key partners, service providers and the largest customers. Mr. Kadifa previously served as Executive Vice President of HP Software. He led HP’s $4-billion software business that includes IT/Cloud Operations Management, Application Delivery Management, Enterprise Security, and HP Big Data.

George previously served as Operating Partner at Silver Lake, a global technology investment firm with over $26 billion of assets under management. He was responsible for driving growth and operational improvement in a wide range of enterprises within the company portfolio of the firm’s large-cap investment fund. George has significant expertise in building and managing technology businesses. He has held various leadership positions at technology and management consulting companies such as IBM, Corio Corporation (founder), Oracle, Booz-Allen & Hamilton and Xerox.

George Kadifa

Board Member

George KadifaGeorge Kadifa

Jason Babcoke has been a Managing Director of Sumeru Equity Partners, a private equity firm, since March 2014. Previously, Jason was a Principal for Silver Lake Sumeru, a middle-market investment group of Silver Lake, a global private equity firm and one of BlackLine’s historical investors. From August 2008 to July 2011, Jason was with Symphony Technology Group, a private equity firm, and from July 2004 to August 2006, served as a Senior Manager for Life Technologies, a biotech company. From February 2001 to March 2004, Jason was Director of Engineering for Angstron Systems, a nano-deposition technology company acquired by Novellus. Prior to that, he was a Venture Capital Associate for The Spark Group, a technology-focused investment group. Jason holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an M.S. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley.

Jason Babcoke

Board Member

Jason BabcokeJason Babcoke

Ben Cox is an Operating Director focused on go-to-market acceleration of Sumeru’s investments through improvements in sales, marketing, product management, and customer success. He has more than fifteen years of product, sales, and marketing experience. Ben joined Sumeru Equity Partners in 2018.

Prior to joining SEP, Ben held several executive roles for a private equity-backed mid-market software company with a successful exit to a strategic buyer in 2018. At various points he led product and commercial strategy, a perpetual-to-SaaS transformation, post-merger integrations, and sales operations.

Earlier in his career, Ben led management consulting teams at Bain & Co, where he focused on organic and M&A growth strategies for technology, digital media, and private equity clients. Ben began his career in sales and marketing leadership roles in building automation/technology, and led sales and marketing for a theatrical equipment manufacturer.

Ben Cox

Board Member

Ben CoxBen Cox

Bill Bock serves as President of Silicon Labs. He had rejoined Silicon Labs as the Interim CFO in 2013. Bill served on the Silicon Labs Board of Directors from 2000 to 2006, before stepping down to the join the management team as CFO until 2011, when he rejoined the Board. Bill also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Entropic Communications as well as several private companies. Prior to joining the Silicon Laboratories management team in 2006, Bill was a Partner at venture capital firms CenterPoint Ventures and Verity Ventures. From 1997 to 1999, Bill served as President and CEO of DAZEL Corporation, a provider of electronic information delivery systems. After DAZEL’s acquisition by Hewlett-Packard, Bill then served as VP for HP until 2001. Bill served as EVP and COO of Tivoli Systems, a client server software company, which he helped take public in 1995 and was later acquired by IBM in 1996. Prior to joining Tivoli, Bill successfully completed an IPO at Convex Computer Corporation as CFO in 1986 and then became the SVP of Sales in 1991. Prior to Convex, Bill spent nine years in various finance roles at Texas Instruments including the VP and Controller of the Data Systems Group. Bill holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University.

Bill Bock

Board Member

Bill BockBill Bock

Jialin Zhang is a Vice President of Sumeru Equity Partners and joined the firm in 2019. Prior to joining Sumeru Equity Partners, Jialin worked in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Goldman Sachs in New York.

Jialin Zhang

Board Observer

Jialin ZhangJialin Zhang


Gene Kim is a multi-award winning CTO, researcher, and author. He is the founder of Tripwire and served as CTO for thirteen years. His books include The Phoenix ProjectThe DevOps HandbookBeyond the Phoenix ProjectAccelerateThe Visible Ops Handbook, and Visible Ops Security.

Gene is a huge fan of IT operations and how it can enable developers to maximize throughput of features from “code complete” to “in production” without causing chaos and disruption to the IT environment. He has worked with some of the top Internet companies on improving deployment flow and increasing the rigor around IT operational processes. In 2007, ComputerWorld added Gene to the “40 Innovative IT People to Watch Under the Age of 40” list, and he was named a Computer Science Outstanding Alumnus by Purdue University for achievement and leadership in the profession.

Gene Kim

Strategic Advisor

Gene KimGene Kim

Dr. Freeman-Benson is currently CTO at InVisionApp Inc, the world's leading design collaboration platform. Prior to InVisionApp Inc, he held senior positions at New Relic, IBM Rational, OTI (Object Technology International), Amazon, Gemstone, and the Eclipse Foundation. In addition, he’s instructed the next generation of technologists as a Professor at the University of Victoria and Carleton University His experience includes Agile development (before it was called “Agile”), virtual machines, compilers for reconfigurable hardware, dynamic page generation for e-commerce, large scale simulations, open-source community building, and speeding software delivery cycles. Bjorn has multiple technology degrees from the University of Washington, including a Ph.D., Computer Science.

Bjorn Freeman-Benson


Bjorn Freeman-BensonBjorn Freeman-Benson

Dr. Johnson is currently a senior vice president at VMware. He is the creator of the influential Spring Framework and co-founder of SpringSource, where he served as CEO until its acquisition by VMware in 2009. Rod has over 15 years technology, management and business experience.

Rod is one of the world's leading authorities on Java development. His Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development (2002) is one of the most influential books ever published on enterprise Java. The sequel, J2EE without EJB (2004, with Juergen Hoeller) completed articulating the vision for modern enterprise Java. Rod is a thought leader on open source development and business models, and a popular speaker at conferences around the world. He holds a BA with Honors in Computer Science, Mathematics and Musicology as well as a PhD from the University of Sydney.

Rod Johnson


Rod JohnsonRod Johnson

Dr. Nackman is a veteran software executive who combines technical depth with executive and board management experience. Most recently, he served as vice president and general manager at HP, where he led several product units focused on software development and IT operations excellence. Prior to HP, Lee served as corporate vice president of Microsoft's Identity and Security Division.

He spent most of his career at IBM, where he held a variety of roles, including vice president and CTO for IBM Rational, and vice president for WebSphere Application Development Tools. He initiated the Eclipse open source tool platform, IBM's WebSphere Studio tool products, and IBM's Jazz initiative. He was also a founding member of the Board of Stewards for eclipse.org and served on the board of Morphormics, a medical image processing startup.

Earlier in his career, Lee was elected to the IBM Academy of Technology. He also coauthored Scientific and Engineering C++: An Introduction with Advanced Techniques and Examples, and was a regular columnist for C++ Report. In addition to his book, Lee has published fifty papers and earned three patents. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lee Nackman


Lee NackmanLee Nackman

Dave is Product Owner at scrum.org. Prior to this role, he was Tasktop’s Chief Product Officer, where he engaged with customers and partners to drive Tasktop’s product roadmap and market positioning, and helped to build Tasktop into a transformative business that is driving major improvements in the software industry.

Prior to Tasktop, he served as vice president and research director at Forrester Research, where he ran the software development and delivery practice. Prior roles included leading the development of the Rational Unified Process (RUP) for IBM/Rational and managing Ivar Jacobson Consulting for North America. Dave is a frequent keynote at major industry conferences and is a widely published author of articles and research reports, along with his acclaimed book: Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design, that helped define new software modeling and application development processes. Dave holds a B.A. in computing and business from Huddersfield University in the UK and a M.Sc. in computer science from Southbank University (UK).

Dave West, Advisor

Dave WestDave West