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A Letter to F5 Employees from CEO François Locoh-Donou Announcing NGINX Acquisition

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For additional background on today's announcement, I wanted to share a copy of the email I sent to our global staff announcing F5’s agreement to acquire NGINX.


From: François Locoh-Donou
To: F5 Staff
Date: March 11, 2019
Subject: F5 to Acquire NGINX

All –

I am thrilled to announce we have signed an agreement to acquire the open source leader in application delivery, NGINX.

F5 to Acquire NGINX

This acquisition represents a number of major milestones for both companies, but let me summarize the factors that excite me most about a combined F5-NGINX:

  1. Team: From the very start of this discussion with NGINX, the F5 and NGINX teams spoke the same language – applications. When the NGINX leadership team shared how the company had evolved from open source project to VC-backed start-up, one that now has over 375 million websites running their technology worldwide, it echoed many of the stories I had heard about F5’s early days. And just like the F5ers I know today, it is evident NGINX employees choose speed, that they are owners, they are obsessed with their customers, they are building an inclusive culture, and they help each other thrive. That’s why it has been so critical to this agreement that the team, including CEO Gus Robertson, and founders Igor Sysoev and Maxim Konovalov, will continue to drive NGINX, within F5. I am in San Francisco now to join the NGINX team for an All-Hands this afternoon and celebration later this evening, and I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to start to get to know more of our new colleagues.
  2. Strategy: That “one team” approach is underscored by the fact both companies share the same outlook on the software growth opportunities for application services. We may talk to NetOps and they may be the choice of DevOps, but both of our customers are trying to bridge the divide between traditional and modern applications, across multi-cloud environments — to balance enough effective controls with enough freedom to innovate. We believe that a combined F5-NGINX will significantly accelerate our growth strategy by serving customers with enterprise-grade services for all applications, traditional and modern, wherever they are built or deployed.
  3. Portfolio and technology: The reason we believe so strongly in this strategy is because of our complementary strengths. NGINX excels as the trusted open source leader in web and application server technology, providing cloud-native support for container-based microservices environments and new application services such as API Management for today’s API-first applications. F5 brings the broadest product portfolio of application services that ensures every application is optimized and secure across the enterprise for over 25,000 loyal customers around the world. Together, F5 and NGINX will bridge the gap from applications to infrastructure and from developer to operations.
  4. Customers, Partners, Community: We believe that with our combined F5-NGINX solutions, our customers – from the app developer to the network engineer to the security specialist – will for the first time benefit from the agility and flexibility enabled by modern technologies, without compromising on the time-tested fundamentals of security, manageability and reliability. But it cannot be done without a clear and unequivocal commitment to the open source innovation that has powered NGINX to date. We must steward this thriving open source and developer community in good faith. So, let me make sure there is no confusion on this point: F5 is 100% committed to the continued innovation and increasing investment in the NGINX open source project.

For those same reasons we will have a lot of work ahead of us: to integrate the best of both organizations and cultures built by F5 and NGINX employees.

[Additional information pertaining to an F5 Company Meeting removed, along with minor edits]

Thank you,
François

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