Dynamic duo parting ways as Farquhar reveals he’ll quit as Atlassian chief

Australian tech billionaire Scott Farquhar has announced he will step down as head of Atlassian, 23 years after he founded the software start-up alongside university classmate Mike Cannon-Brookes.

Apr 26, 2024, updated Apr 26, 2024
 Co-Founders of Sydney technology company Atlassian Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes.  (AAP Image/Howorth)

Co-Founders of Sydney technology company Atlassian Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes. (AAP Image/Howorth)

Mr Cannon-Brookes will continue as the company’s sole chief executive, Atlassian announced in a letter to shareholders early on Friday morning AEST.

Mr Farquhar will take up a special advisor role and remain a member of the company’s board.

The 44-year-old said he made the decision to “spend more time with his young family, improve the world via philanthropy, and help further the technology industry globally”.

“While it’s a difficult decision to step away, I do so knowing Atlassian is exceptionally positioned to take hold of the massive opportunities at its feet,” Mr Farquhar said.

“We have a strong leadership team, and great momentum around cloud, enterprise, and now, AI.”

His departure came as the tech giant announced a return to profitability after years of losses, recording net income of $US12.8 million ($A19.6 million) for the three months ending March 31.

Mr Cannon-Brookes called it a “milestone quarter” for the company, as it seeks to grow customers for its cloud products after a period of stagnation and restructuring.

Atlassian’s value has more than halved since the record highs of October 2021 to fetch $US198.41 a share at Thursday’s close. Its share price fell 6.3 per cent in after-hours trading, following the news of Mr Farquhar’s exit.

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Mr Cannon-Brookes said it was impossible to quantify his long-term friend’s contribution to Atlassian.

“Starting with just the two of us in 2001, to a global company of over 11,000 employees and over $US4 billion in annual revenue, Atlassian would not be the company it is today without Scott,” he said.

“I am truly grateful to have had him by my side every day for the last 23 years.”

Mr Farquhar’s net worth was estimated at $18.16 billion by the Australian Financial Review Rich List in 2023.

He will officially finish up as co-CEO on August 31.

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