Board Meeting 2/2023 Minutes: Wed 24 May 2023 16:00-17:00 EET

Present board members:

  • Eric Herman, Chairman
  • Sergei Golubchik, MariaDB Corporation
  • Max Mether, MariaDB Corporation
  • Barry Abrahamson, Automattic 
  • Espen Håkonsen, Visma 
  • Steve Shaw, Intel 
  • Xiang Peng, Alibaba 
  • Michael Widenius, MariaDB Corporation

Absent board members:

  • Todd Boyd, IBM


  • Serguei Beloussov, Constructor (formerly SIT)
  • Sirish Chandrasekaran, Amazon
  • Mark Stockford, ServiceNow

Absent observers:

  • Ezequiel Steiner, Acronis
  • Parikshit Savjani, Microsoft 

Additionally, as non-voting secretary:

  • Kaj Arnö, CEO, MariaDB Foundation

1. CEO update

The CEO reported about cash flow issues in the finances. The budget on a year-end basis remains within plan, but late payments due to ever-increasing compliance requirements in sponsors and banking have led to delayed payments in salaries, mainly to the CEO and Chief of Staff. Lack of cash also limits our participation in events.

​​Sponsorship renewal discussions go mostly according to plan. However, some sponsors have been negatively surprised by MariaDB Plc’s statements related to Postgres during their Open Works event in New York. As Peter Zaitsev of Percona wrote on LinkedIn: Hm. Did MariaDB Corporation just admit PostgreSQL is the future ? Similar reactions have been the dominant interpretation amongst our contacts, although obviously unintended by MariaDB Plc. 

As a result, one current sponsor of MariaDB Foundation has requested us to articulate a product vision which inspires current MariaDB Server users and attracts new ones.

To grow Adoption and at the same time improve our financing, we are looking into feature sponsorship in a way compliant with our non-profit status by connecting development vendors to our sponsors with the understanding that that vendors will in turn become sponsors themselves. We are starting with Catalogs as described in the blog entry Multi-tenancy through catalogs in MariaDB Server. Catalogs will enable in particular cloud service providers to save cost through sharing server instances between customers. This feature is currently under development by Monty, working for his company Open Spheres.

As decided in Board Meeting 1/2023, the CEO sent out an email to the board with a report on goal attainment after Q1. Most goals are on track, with sponsorship goals behind track. 

We have announced the 2023 MariaDB Developers Unconference, taking place on 3-4 October, followed by the 2023 MariaDB Server Fest, taking place 5 Oct. The events will be held in Finland and combined with our next Staff Meeting, the first one after the one in June 2022, also in Finland.

In the blog series Coming to a language near you!, we have launched an initiative to approach the MariaDB Server user base in languages other than English. We have recorded videos in ten languages and started by releasing the Ukrainian version Вперед MariaDB! Короткий огляд українською мовою. We encourage board members to help us reach the communities working in the languages recorded. 

2. Process for approving Board Observers

Proposal: Any sponsor at any level is welcome to request an invitation as a board observer, by email to the CEO. 

The CEO may recommend a board observer in an email to the board and observers, along with any personal notes. If no concerns are raised within a week, the observer will be invited to join the next Board meeting. Otherwise, the observer position is decided upon, in the candidates absence, during the next board meeting.

Board observers are expected to behave like board members ( 

If a board member and the Chairman together find an observer to be disruptive or not to behave in keeping with the expectations of a Board member, they can uninvite the observer from the next board meeting, during which the observer can be uninvited from further board meetings by majority vote. If any individual board member finds an observer to be disruptive or not to behave in keeping with the expectations of a Board member, they can request the next Board meeting to decide whether to uninvite the observer from further board meetings, by majority vote. However, in that case, the observer can be present until the agenda item about the observer status is decided, and may be reinvited after said agenda item. 

Decision: The proposal was approved with no objections. After the meeting, it was posted on

3. Follow-up on the establishment of an EU subsidiary foundation 

The establishment process has stalled because of the lack of 50.000 € on the bank account, which is required to finish the registration process and obtain final approval by Finnish authorities.

As noted during the last meeting, we shall then amend the board with the missing members. To be technically registered as a board member of the EU foundation, each voting member is required to submit their details (passport copy, birth date and birth location, current physical address) to the CEO. The CEO thanked Steve Shaw for already supplying the details over email, and encouraged the others to do so now.

4. Follow-up on the status of MariaDB Plc as sponsor

Max presented his thoughts on MariaDB Plc’s sponsorship of MariaDB Foundation. 

Given the high level of code contributions by MariaDB Plc and its importance for the MariaDB Server ecosystem, Kaj requested for a task force to be established to help the CEO navigate the waters around the relationship between MariaDB Plc and MariaDB Foundation, as well as the communication both between the entities and towards the ecosystem.

The Board appointed Max Mether, Sergei Golubchik, and Steve Shaw to the Task Force, with the CEO as secretary. The Task Force shall report progress prior to the next Board meeting. In the meantime, the relationship remains as is.

The Task Force will also look into the implications of the unfortunate communication at Open Works and offer advice and assistance to MariaDB Plc in mitigating the effects of the confusion.

5. Next meetings during 2023

  • every meeting on a Wednesday, same time as this BoD meeting
  • four meetings in total, two remaining
  • calendar invites have been sent out – if they have not arrived, please alert Anna and/or Kaj over email
  • Wed 6 Sep 2023
  • Wed 29 Nov 2023