EmergencyEMERGENCY? Get 24/7 Help Now!

Tom Basil (formerly MySQL’s Director of Support) Joins Percona

 | December 4, 2008 |  Posted In: Events and Announcements


Percona has a new Chief Operating Officer! It is Tom Basil, who was Employee #11 at MySQL and led the Support organization there for almost eight years. He was the founding Director of Support at MySQL, and built it into a team of about 60 people all across the world. Tom was legendary as a manager at MySQL, and we’re really looking forward to his experience at Percona.

It sure is funny how things work out. When Peter and Vadim were at MySQL, Tom was their boss for 4 years. Now, Tom works for them! And Tom actively recruited me for a position at MySQL Support almost exactly a year ago, but I joined Percona instead. Perhaps we were meant to work together.

So, why did he resign from Sun/MySQL and come join us? In his own words, slightly paraphrased,

  • Vision. Tom knows that we have replicated the vision of MySQL’s own founders Monty and David, which was what drew him to work at MySQL in the first place. We’re building our business organically, focusing on our customers’ practical needs. We’re doing it bootstrap-style, with no venture capital or hard revenue targets.
  • Virtual. We have a distributed workforce of some of the best and brightest performance gurus in the world.
  • Values. We’re fiercely loyal to our employees and their families. And we care about our customers.

I could probably find some more words starting with V, but that seems to sum up what Tom has told me. His main regret is leaving behind friends at MySQL Support, which has been a close-knit team.

Tom works from his home, just like the rest of us. He lives in the Baltimore area with Kathleen, his wife of 22 years and their six children. And on a side note, he’s pretty near me, so I am looking forward to getting together with him and brainstorming on a more regular basis than I do with people in Novosibirsk or Japan!

Tom, from all of us in Percona, the warmest possible welcome! Here’s to a great future together. And here’s to our clients, who are certain to benefit from your wisdom as Percona keeps growing!

Baron Schwartz

Baron is the lead author of High Performance MySQL. He is a former Percona employee.


  • Working in MySQL support I learned of Tom’s decision for quite some time before he announced it. Keeping it to myself was hardest task ever as I value Tom more than words can say. I value him so much that I skipped on my chance of convincing him to stay with MySQL in Dublin few months ago. Tom, you know we all wish you the best.

    Baron, I’ve come to expect more of you than jumping into your own mouth. Writing “We’re fiercely loyal to our employees and their families.” in this context just doesn’t hold water, at least not for Percona founders and Tom. You would have been better off without that.

    All of the other “V’s” are actually brought to Percona from MySQL. Another example of how great Tom’s work is.

  • I wish all the best to Tom! He was a great leader.. and our virtual Santa!

    Other readers, be assured that Sun/MySQL Support kicks ass, Tom teached us!
    * we do respect values
    * we are loyal
    * we work distributed and at home
    * AND we love our customers!

    I can’t imagine Tom saying he left for you guys because he missed that in our Team?

    Thanks a lot..

    MySQL Senior Support Engineer

  • This is great for Percona and a good opportunity for Tom. But with all of the thing that Percona does, is it still accurate to describe the company as ‘performance consultants’?

    @Geert — you left out a few things about support. They tolerate cranky customers (who me?) and they are good at finding reproduction cases for obscure problems.

  • Looking forward to hearing plenty of great stories of your work Tom continuing to build the team and business at Percona as I have heard from plenty of the MySQL support team while I was at MySQL.

  • I didn’t put words in Tom’s mouth. I arranged them into bullet points, but all the words were what Tom told me, including the “V” words.

    The Support team at MySQL is something I’ve studied carefully and talked to a lot of people about. It is a remarkable team that I admire very much, and my words in the article are not meant to say anything bad about it. If it seemed to say that, it’s just a misunderstanding, and I apologize. When Tom offered me a position in the Support team, it was a very hard decision to make. I went to dinner with Tom twice (once with my wife, too) to talk about it, had many long conversations, and waited about 8 months before deciding.

    A note: We recently had an all-company meeting that lasted over a week. Families were invited, including spouses, children, and significant loved ones.

  • Dear Geert & Tonci –

    Thank you for the love!  But I think you misunderstood my thoughts (as voiced by Baron).

    Excellence in technology, love of customers, and loyal teamwork have been part of the culture of MySQL support for as long as I have known it (which for me began as a customer back in 1999 or 2000).   It’s not that MySQL/Sun Support doesn’t have those virtues, but that Percona strongly shares them too!

    Peter, Vadim, and Baron are building a great company, and it’s exciting to be a part of it early as COO. But never think I don’t believe in the MySQL/Sun Support team. You guys have my profound respect, gratitude, and friendship.

    Best regards always,

    – Tom

    PS – Percona’s company meeting included a few hours off every afternoon for swimming & sun on a gorgeous Mediterranean beach. Tell Dean you demand this lifestyle too! http://www.flickr.com/photos/88729824@N00/3007529331/in/set-72157608704512930/

  • Congratulations to Tom and Percona from another of Toms fan-boys 🙂 I’ve never had the chance to have Tom as a manager, but as you know Tom, I deeply respect what you built and did with the MySQL Support Team.

  • Tom,

    I wish the best for you and your new job. My promise is still being kept and shall pay you a visit next time I’m up in the North East. Unfortunately Redmond has been keeping me busy and I don’t know when my next boston trip will come!

    Please send me an email with your new contact details …

    To all mysqlers: I miss having drinks and singing finnish songs with you guys 🙂

  • As a former MySQL Support team member, I can say that Tom was truly one of the best bosses I’ve ever had the pleasure to work for in my lifetime. It still impresses me that he made the effort to stop by my home shortly after I joined to welcome me personally and to get to know a bit more about me. You guys have made a great choice as COO.

    Best wishes to you Tom!


Leave a Reply