Kaj Arnö

CEO, MariaDB Foundation

Kaj Arnö founded his first company Polycon Ab in 1987, sold out half of it to MySQL AB in 2001, and worked in various leadership positions until it was sold to Sun Microsystems Inc. in 2008, as the world's largest Open Source database. In 2009, he co-founded MariaDB Corporation Ab, which went public on the NYSE in 2022. Since 2019, Kaj has acted as the CEO of MariaDB Foundation.

With databases being his daytime job, Kaj got early exposure to Wikipedia, who have switched from MySQL to MariaDB about a decade ago. In 2017, he founded Projekt Fredrika, with the goal to better represent Swedish Finland on Wikipedia, Wikidata etc., in Swedish and other languages.

While living in München since 20 years, Kaj spends his summers in Nagu, as an avid sports hedonist – kayaking in the outer archipelago and running on the inner islands. As a free thinker and columnist, he shares his views in Finland's oldest newspaper, Åbo Underrättelser, on various topics. Having a one-year-old half-Ukrainian son, a frequent theme of 2022 has been contemplations on Ukraine, war, culture, and ethics.


Global platforms, local relevance

A'Pelago Initiative 2023