Joyent founder Jason Hoffman steps down

Jason Hoffman, who co-founded Joyent 10 years ago, is stepping down from his post as CTO. In a blog post Monday night, Hoffman noted that his departure “is undoubtedly bittersweet” but that he will advise the company, which he said is well positioned for the future.

Joyent, which “started as a small solution to a personal problem has grown into a tremendous company and a significant player in the cloud computing business,” he wrote. In fact, Hoffman was driven to work on scalable systems when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and he wanted to work on a cure.

As Stacey Higginbotham wrote last year:

He quit his day job as a cancer pathologist, moved from San Diego to San Francisco, and spent the next 18 months working with his mom’s treatment team to develop a custom-drug program.

Her treatment was “unorthodox” because it combined research on specific cancers with genetic analysis on his mom. That genetic analysis required a lot of computing power optimized for visualizing data — power that Hoffman supplied with his hosting company, Joyent.

Earlier this year, Hoffman helped spearhead Joyent’s Manta, a high-performance object storage system for specialized big data applications.

In the blog post, he wrote: “I believe that Joyent’s Manta compute on storage innovation will disrupt the storage and big data analytics markets, even as it is just starting to get major traction.”

Hoffman has been a welcome fixture at our Structure events — as he will be next week at Structure:Europe, so we can hit him up for details in London. Hoffman has always been ready to provide an informed — often pointed — opinion on the topic of the day whether it was the cult-like ethos of another cloud provider or the sanctimony of Americans crying foul over Chinese censorship.

Here’s hoping Hoffman will keep making himself available going forward. Whatever he chooses to do next will be worth watching.