7 Questions with Ridgeline CTO Jon Ruggiero

May 10, 2022
Ridgeline Staff Writers
 min read

Ridgeline is thrilled to welcome Jon Ruggiero as our first-ever Chief Technology Officer. Having spent his career at companies founded by our CEO and Founder Dave Duffield, Ridgeline was a natural next step that marks an exciting moment in our company’s history. 

Of Jon’s coming on board, Dave says, “I am thrilled to work with Jon again. He believes in what we've built to date and wants to help us become faster and stronger. He has recently evaluated our platform and has both compliments for the work we've done and big ideas, both immediate and longer-term, for advancing our capabilities.” We sat down with Jon to learn more about him and his expectations for the role.

1. What has your career path been up to this point?

Aside from a few short detours along the way, I have spent the entirety of my career working for Dave Duffield companies. I earned my degree in Computer Science from the College of Engineering at Cornell University. My first job out of college was working at a large consulting firm implementing PeopleSoft HR and Finance systems where I was responsible for installing, configuring, customizing, and tuning on-premise installations. I didn’t know it at the time, but the experience would be invaluable to me in the future as I was seeing first hand the downsides of on-premise software and benefits of the cloud. 

I was a Software engineer at PeopleSoft for a number of years. When Dave started Workday, there was an early job for a Senior Application Developer, and I aggressively pursued the position. I told then CTO Stan Swete that “I’d sweep the floors” for them if that is what they needed me to do. I got the job. After 15 successful years at Workday, I spent the last couple of years taking some time off to focus on family.  

2. What do you think of when you hear "a Dave Duffield company"?

Early on in my career, I had the opportunity to hear Dave speak at a Cornell alumni event.  An audience member asked Dave what it takes to start a successful business.  His answer was simple, “you need to first start with the best people”.  While the answer sounds simple, we know that it is not. You need to align those people around a common company culture with a set of strong company core values. Aligned with a strong culture and grounded with the core values, you next need a bold mission, such as transforming a software industry, to motivate people to accomplish great things. This is Dave’s special formula that I’ve had the privilege of experiencing three times now.

Dave Duffield, Jon Ruggerio, Aneel Bhusri in 2007
Jon Ruggiero poses with Workday co-founders Dave Duffield (L) and Aneel Bhusri (R) while serving as Workday's Chief Technology Architect in 2007. Dave is now Ridgeline's CEO, Jon is Ridgeline's CTO, and Aneel is Workday's CEO.

3. You've previously engaged with Ridgeline as a strategic advisor. Why join now?

Over the course of the last several months in my advisory role, I started working more deeply with Ridgeline’s lead architects and engineers. Through this process, it became clear to me that to really lean in would require a full-time commitment. After taking some time off, I realized that I really missed the technical challenges and working with great people on a day-to-day basis. Then Dave got involved in the discussions so I couldn’t say no!

4. How do you define your responsibilities as CTO?

Ridgeline has a huge opportunity: to become the industry cloud platform for investment management. This means not only do we need the best applications but we also need the best technology to power those applications. We have already made a great investment to build our cloud platform from a clean sheet of paper on a leading public cloud, leveraging modern architectural patterns such as microservices. I’ll continue to guide the evolution of that platform ensuring that we are choosing technology that is fit for purpose and that we are innovating in the right ways to provide the most value for our customers.  

5. What do you think Ridgeline's biggest opportunity is?

I’m 100% aligned with Ridgeline's goal to become the industry cloud platform for investment management.  

6. What are you most excited about accomplishing in your first 6 months?

We have some exciting new investments that we are making in Ridgeline’s technology platform so I’m looking forward to getting those underway. On the people side, I’ll be looking to deepen my relationships with the Ridgeline leadership team and meet as many Ridgeline employees as I can. Finally, I’m looking forward to meeting Ridgeline customers in Tahoe this fall at the Base Camp user conference.

7. What's one thing you want Ridgeline customers to know?

Hopefully customers know this already, but if not they should know that the entire team at Ridgeline is dedicated to our number one core value of Customer Service. We have assembled a great team of people with deep industry knowledge that are all aligned around that top priority: serving our customers.

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