Remember Kevin Cochrane — the former CMO of Mindjet, the former CMO of Open Text and former vice president of digital marketing at Adobe? Guess where he’s just popped up — apparently just a day after leaving Mindjet? At open source Web Content Management (WCM) vendor Jahia.

As of today, Cochrane will sit on the board of Jahia. He will initially serve in an advisory capacity, although Jahia CEO Elie Auvray says that the role of advisor could grow as the company grows.

Jahia’s Missing Link

To put this in perspective, let's take a look at the evolution of Jahia. The company has roots in Open Source CMS, but has worked to move beyond that description over the past few years.

When Jahia released Jahia 7 earlier this year, Auvray described its capabilities in terms of digital industrialization. According to Auvray, this means that it offers the solution to all of a worker's IT needs -- from the identification of the need to the delivery of a solution to meet that need. It gives organizations the ability to respond to business needs quickly and automatically as part of an organization's digital evolution, the company noted.

This approach pushed Jahia into Gartner’s Horizontal Portal Magic Quadrant this year. Gartner has a simpler way of describing what Jahia does: "Jahia is an open-source Java platform that combines WCM, document management system and portal capability with a unified interface geared to business users." In this, its first appearance in the quadrant, Jahia was placed in the Niche Quadrant, a sign that it's moving in the right direction.

Jahia 7 vision.jpg

Gartner's report describes Jahia as one of a few vendors with a single unified portal and WCM platform built from the ground up.It includes customer testimonials, claiming Jahia is open and flexible enough for them to quickly build and scale portals, websites and applications.

The principle weakness Gartner found with Jahia is worth noting in light of the Cochrane appointment:

Jahia's market visibility is low. While the organization's focus on refining the software and supporting current customers has served it well in the early stages of its business, it must gain market share and mind share to assure customers and prospects of its long-term viability compared with most other portal vendors."

Enter Kevin Cochrane


Enter Cochrane.His role will be based in San Francisco and will -- for the moment -- be in an advisory capacity, albeit on the board.

The appointment is a smart one, given Cochrane's 18 years of experience in executive roles in the industry.

As CMO of Day Software, Cochrane was instrumental in its acquisition by Adobe in 2010, where he consequently served as VP Enterprise Marketing. He was also employee No. 3 at Interwoven -- now part of the HP Autonomy portfolio -- and responsible for Interwoven’s TeamSite product. While CMO of OpenText, Cochrane developed a worldwide marketing execution and product strategy.

You get the picture. Cochrane's experience is what Jahia needs given its rapid growth, particularly in the US.

Learning Opportunities

Auvray promises more in the coming months from Jahia, but for the moment, he flags the Cochrane appointment as another step forward in Jahia’s development.

“We’ve known Kevin for the past five years when he was at Day and Adobe. We talked to him this summer about what we were doing and the momentum we have built up especially after our conference back in February, along with the winning of some major customers.

We also talked about the concept of convergence -- of converging our technologies and the development of a complete customer platform. He said it was exactly the kind of thing that he wants to put in place and that he had been working on this kind of vision, first at Interwoven, then at Adobe, Day and after that at OpenText.

He also told us that they way we are developing our technology was exactly that and that he saw in us the development of a disruptive technology and that he wanted to help us put in place our vision."

For the moment, Cochrane will not have an operational role in the company.

Cochrane was appointed CMO of Mindjet in September, and was identified as such on the company website as recently as Oct. 20. But he is no longer listed on the company's management page, and employees at the San Francisco office today told CMSWire that Cochrane is no longer with the company. 

London-based Rachel Lockwood, vice president of global field marketing at Mindjet, confirmed to CMSWire today that Cochrane is no longer working for the company. She cited only "personal reasons."

Cochrane still identifies himself as the CMO of Mindjet on LinkedIn as well as his Twitter feed, but has not tweeted since Oct. 24. He did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

Auvray points out that the inclusion of Cochrane on the board comes before anyone discussions of funding or capital investment, which bucks the prevailing trend of pulling new talent in after funding has been secured.

He says its current development of talent is based on the effectiveness of its product and the excitement around the product.

Title image by Si1very (Flickr) via a CC BY-SA 2.0 license