In Honor of Robert Stroud: A DevOps Luminary, Amazing Colleague, and Good Friend

| September 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

We will miss our friend and colleague, Rob Stroud.

It is with the deepest sadness that I share the news that our Chief Product Officer, Robert Stroud, was tragically killed this weekend after being struck by a car.

Although Rob was an industry authority, he was foremost a family man with devotion to his wife, his children, and his grandchildren. When Rob joined us at XebiaLabs, we knew we were extremely lucky and privileged to have someone so deeply knowledgeable, not only about DevOps but many other industries as well.

In the short time that we had the honor of working with Rob, he quickly gained the trust of our product team and inspired each individual to a whole new level of creativity and collaboration. He was the catalyst that brought our most recent product innovations to life. His presence was a defining force throughout the company, as the face of XebiaLabs at countless conference presentations, as a generous contributor who was always willing to jump in, and as a vibrant personality who led his teams with a smile and his quirky Australian accent.

Rob’s passing is an enormous loss to the entire DevOps community, where he created a huge sphere of influence during his years at CA Technologies and Forrester Research. His absence will be heavily grieved by many people around the world. All in all, he was a deeply caring man, dedicated to his family, his friends, and his colleagues. As a company, we will struggle to fill the void Rob leaves behind, but in his honor, we will do our best to succeed at the path he laid before us. We are forever grateful to him and will miss him dearly.

In honor of Rob and in celebration of his life, we share our thoughts and memories below, along with a slide show of Rob at work and play. Please feel free to share your thoughts too in the comments section at the end of this post.

Rest in peace, Rob.

Contributions to the “Memorial Fund for the Stroud Family” are open to any and all who would like to contribute.There are two ways you can contribute:
1. By Credit/Debit Card: Go to the Memorial Fund GoFundMe campaign here
2. By Check: Write a check to “Memorial Fund for the Stroud Family” and send it to:
           c/o XebiaLabs, Attn: Stephen Gregorio, CFO
           52 Third Avenue, NWP #20
           Burlington, MA 01803

Rob, knowing and working with you was a privilege. You have been a great mentor. I learned so much from you; you made it easier to desire to do more. I admired your vision and courage and constant urge for improvements. Those Australian humours, that big smile on your face, the positivity and energy was inspiring, your constant support was very motivating. We wouldn’t have come this far without your guidance, inspiration and support. Gone but not forgotten, Words cannot express the feeling in our hearts. Your memory lives with us. You will be missed deeply. May God give you all the comfort and peace that you deserve Rob. My prayers and condolences to your wife, Connie, and the family. – Ashu Sahu

 

I will always remember our first meeting with Rob… Wearing a strict black suit and Mickey Mouse tie, he walked in the room happy and smiling. “Hello” he pronounced with a funny Australian accent… I will forever cherish Rob’s leadership and guidance. We will always carry Rob in our hearts. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. – Nadia Udalova

 

Rob, you would be missed terribly. It’s so hard to believe that you are not with us anymore and decided to be happier elsewhere.

I can never forget the energy and happy vibes that you used to bring to any meeting or discussion, the willingness to help always, your multi-tasking capabilities, and what not. I was so much looking forward to your visit to the Netherlands next week, we had so much to do and discuss. I wish it were all unreal and you could still join us. ☹

I just pray that you rest in peace. May God give strength to Connie and family in this tragic moment. – Manu Varshney

I only had the opportunity to work with Rob for a year. In that year, he challenged us and pushed our product focus in new directions, all the while using his weird Aussie sense of humour to keep things running smoothly in a team spread across three continents and even more time zones. At the same time I learned to appreciate him as a family man; his granddaughter and my son are of similar age and we’d swap anecdotes about what kids that age are up to. I can only imagine the sadness and loss his family must feel at this time and wish them all the best in times to come. I will surely miss him. – Vincent Partington

 

Rob was a great personality and he was connected with each and every one in the team. We all feel positive energy when ever he is around. His smile and Hat will be missed badly. He was a true inspiration to all of us. – Sourabh Soni

 

With the loss of Rob we lose a great person who was always full of creative ideas and excited to bring different perspectives. With his extensive knowledge of the market, Rob was truly the right guy to have in your sessions when defining future plans. His ideas made you think. On a personal level, Rob was the one in the room who tried to make you feel comfortable, always taking a moment to offer a few thoughtful words before moving onto business. But the most remarkable thing about him was his love for his family that was so visible throughout everything. – Andreas Prins

 

Rob’s humor, boundless energy, infectious enthusiasm and determination made every day working with him a joy and inspiration. In the short year we worked together, Rob became a trusted friend, always willing to help, share his wealth of knowledge and brighten the day with a laugh. I’ll never forget how he usually answered my “how are you?” with “evil” and a big smile on his face – which never failed to lift everybody’s spirits. I am stunned that such a wonderful colleague and friend was taken from us so suddenly and my heart goes out to his wife, Connie, and his entire family. RIP Rob. You were one of a kind, and you’ll be sorely missed.  – Gottfried Sehringer

 

Rob Stroud was one of these rare individuals that makes a difference on many levels. He combined a sparkling personality, smartness, and curiosity to probe the people around him to come up with the best solutions. He trusted people to be creative and productive when given responsibility and come up with something amazing. In the short time I worked with him, he has had a pivoting influence on how I see our industry, our products, my personal career and how to make an exciting mix out of those.

Even if I have known for less than a year, I will miss him a lot, since he proved you can combine work, life and everything in a fun and friendly way, produce awesomeness in the process. – Hes Siemelink

 

 

While I only had the privilege of working with Rob during my initial 2 months here, we developed a fast friendship in wanting to drive value and improvements in our respective domains here at XebiaLabs. Always quick with a joke or a laugh, I will miss his insights and friendship. My very best to his wife, family and friends. – Stephen Gregorio

 

Dear Rob, I am eternally grateful for your guidance and advice throughout our professional acquaintance here at XebiaLabs. You were always willing to help at a moment’s notice, and I cannot believe it was just a week ago we shared laughs in your office. My deepest sympathies for your family and all those that were near and dear to you. – Fang Yuan

 

Rob, I will miss you, your larger than life personality, suit and those ties. Every time I drink a cider I will think of you. You made a big impact in your short time at XebiaLabs and you have left a massive hole. My thoughts and deepest condolences are with your family and all those who got to know you. – Rob Vanstone

 

Rob, you were always so full of energy, so full of life – it’s hard for any of us to believe you’re gone. We will sorely miss your boundless sense of humor, your mischievous grin, your colorful ties, and most especially your vision and leadership. Thank you for everything you gave us in the time we had with you. You will live on in our hearts. – Lisa Wells

 

I appreciated Rob for his ease of contact, and his way of approaching, listening and understanding people around him. He always expressed his charisma in the most natural and colorful way. Condolences to his family. – Lambert Troubat

 

Rob was a boundless source of energy and enthusiasm. His passion for the DevOps industry, his knowledge and leadership, and his silly sense of humor made him a joy to work with. We will miss him. – Amy Johnston

 

Cher Rob,

J’ai du mal à croire ce qui arrive… J’ai l’impression que tu nous fais cette fois une mauvaise blague… Avant-hier encore je t’envoyais des emails sur des besoins clients et nos intégrations avec les grandes plates-formes du marché.

Nous n’aurons malheureusement pas eu le temps de collaborer longtemps, mais tu avais amené un vent de fraicheur et de dynamisme à XebiaLabs. Tu faisais autorité sur le marché DevOps. Tes réponses toujours positives à nos requêtes témoignaient de ton écoute du marché.

Nous pensons très fort à ta famille et à tes proches à qui nous adressons nos plus sincères condoléances.

De là où tu es, continue à garder un œil bienveillant sur nous tous et à nous inonder de ton esprit espiègle et de ton éternel optimisme.

Amicalement, – Richard Mathis

 

Rob, you told me just the other day to push you harder on the things I needed to do my job well. I laughed and promised I would, but I really appreciated how you made sure I knew you were 100% supportive. You were also generous with praise, which made you a pleasure to work with and made me feel valued. Thank you for being such positive presence in this world, Rob. We’ll miss you. – Karin Lauria

 

I’m the new guy. I’ve only been a XebiaLabs for 2 weeks. In that short time, I was lucky enough to spend some significant time getting to know Rob in both the work environment and one nice evening of post-work socializing. Sharp, funny, driven and approachable are just four adjectives that describe my initial impressions of him. I’m sad that I won’t have the chance to learn from him as so many others surely have. He will be missed much, and remembered well. – John Doherty

 

Rob was an amazing colleague and inspiration to all.  He brought enthusiasm and energy to every professional interaction you had with him. I always looked forward to spending time with him. Beyond our professional relationship, I got to know Rob personally and it was evident he was a proud family man. I enjoyed listening to the funny stories of his multi-generational household where he was a proud father and grandfather. He traveled often with his wife Connie and seeing them interact it became obvious that they are superb complements to one another. We should all be more like Rob in spirit and are better for knowing him. I wish his family thoughts and sympathy. – KC Lincoln

 

Although I’m fairly new to the XebiaLabs family, I knew from the start I had the strongest advocate, champion, collaborator, and kindred spirit in Rob Stroud.  Rob knew everyone and everything that was happening in the industry, all with the wisdom and experience of a critical eye.  Best of all, he was ready to laugh at himself or playfully engage with whomever he was talking with.  He was able to cut through, knowing exactly where it was not only plausible but practical.  We will all miss his impact on our business, and selfishly, I will miss all the future opportunities to work with such a generous and intelligent leader. – Paul Burstein

 

You’ll always have a very special place in my heart my dear friend Rob… I will miss our long conversations, our travelling together and our friendship… My thoughts are with Connie and the family. – Rose Mensink

 

Robert, it is with a very heavy heart that I say farewell to you.  From the time I first interviewed with you, to our last discussions about products and vision for the enhanced partnership strategy we were driving together, you had always been upbeat, realistic, positive and supportive to the shared goals.

While today I grieve along with the rest of our leadership team about your departure from XebiaLabs, and this world; always know that your impact, friendship, and guidance will never be forgotten.  I also know that one day, “when we get there”, you will gladly be looking down upon on all of us smiling at what you helped create. Rest in eternal peace my friend; you will be missed. – Richard Nuñez

 

Dear Rob, I have only known you for a short time, but my life became better because of it. You were always so full of energy, so full of life, and so full of ideas. I wish I could have known you for much longer. You will be missed. Rest in peace, my friend. – Ben Hählen

 

Dear Rob, what a tragedy. Our friendship had really just started. It was not supposed to end at this stage….I have no words for this.  Speaking of words, if anyone was never short of them it was you. You were a fountain of words and wisdom, and you always combined that with that entertaining smile of someone who enjoyed life. Your positive outlook and your energy is an example to all of us. The fountain has run dry, but the fountain of memories will never stop. So long buddy! – Michel den Braver

 

I will always remember Rob’s enthusiasm and kindness. No matter how busy the day, all of his meetings started off with a joke (usually regarding where he got his latest tie) or recap of weekend plans. Rob will be greatly missed by his XebiaLabs family. – Amanda Wagner

 

Last week, while Rob was in a meeting in a conference room, I randomly got a Skype message from him of this gif. He later explained that he just thought it was funny and wanted to share. I feel like this story sums up Rob pretty well – he always had a positive attitude and was trying to make people laugh…even during important meetings. I think it’s rare to find someone who is so successful in their career, but still makes time to talk to and develop relationships with everyone in the office, but this was Rob. This tragedy is a huge loss for the entire XebiaLabs team, DevOps community, and anyone who ever had the opportunity of interacting with him. He will truly be missed. – Andrea Davis

 

I didn’t know Rob long, but the one thing I’ll remember is how he would greet you with the wrong time of day… for instance, if it was morning, he’d say “Good Afternoon!” with a big smile. – Ed Thompson

 

Rob brought a great energy to the office.  Whenever he walked through our work area he would chat for a minute, often longer, taking a moment to stop and listen to whatever we might have to say.  His is a sad loss for XebiaLabs and the Devops community.  My heartfelt condolences to his family. – Dave Roberts

 

Rob, buddy, you’ll be deeply missed. Although we just started to work together, I’ll miss our discussions about our industry, your energy and great sense of humor. We will make sure that we proceed in making XebiaLabs even more succesful. We’ll never forget, and will add your spirit to all we do. I wish the family and friends my condolences and a lot of strength. – Danny Hemminga

 

As a fellow runner I was shocked to hear of your sad and unfortunate accident. It’s what we all fear at times when we’re out there and I’m heartbroken that this happened to you. I’ve enjoyed working with you in whatever interaction we had, always being pleasantly surprised by the energy and the sense of caring you brought to the table – and the stellar Australian accent of course, there never was any doubt of who was speaking when you were on any of our calls. My compassion goes out to your family and friends during this tough period. You will be missed. – Vincent Lussenburg

 

Rob –

I’m so thankful to have had you as a friend as well as co-worker. Even in the dinner we had last Wednesday, it was so nice to have great conversation not about work, but about family, travels, planting mums, and all the things that make up the most important part of our lives.

Over and over again, I have been praying this simple prayer for you: “Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.” And know that Connie and your whole family are also in our prayers.

You are well missed, Rob, and I’m a better man for sharing our friendship. Thank you. – T.j. Randall

And from our friends at Optum:

The Optum Deploy team read the XebiaLabs blog about Robert Stroud’s passing. We would like to pass on our regrets to you and the others at XebiaLabs who worked with Rob. He was an exemplary leader in DevOps at XebiaLabs and it was evident in his interactions with us that he valued his customers, had strong faith in the solutions and products provided by his team and was honorable in his actions and words.

We send our deepest condolences to his family and those close to him. Rob will surely be missed. Please let us know if there is any way we can offer support during this time of tragedy.

Other Tributes to Rob

Barclae Rae – https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6442844910084325376/

Mark Miller – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/tribute-robert-stroud-mark-miller/

ISACA – https://www.isaca.org/Knowledge-Center/Blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1064



Derek Langone

About the Author ()

As CEO of XebiaLabs, Derek Langone brings over 20 years of experience in IT leadership roles. He is responsible for setting the company’s vision, executing on its strategy, and driving its growth to become a recognized market leader in the Enterprise DevOps space. Before joining XebiaLabs, Derek served as EVP of Sales at Telerik through their acquisition by Progress Software, President of SmartBear Software, and VP of Sales at IMCEDA, now Quest Software.