How Lewis Cirne creates new markets and solutions for his customers at New Relic

Lewis Cirne, founder and CEO, New Relic

Lewis Cirne, founder and CEO, New Relic

NCA Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year




Lewis Cirne

founder and CEO

New Relic


As the founder and CEO of application performance management company New Relic, Lewis Cirne demonstrates the core characteristics of leadership: intelligence, conviction, trustworthiness, flexibility, enthusiasm and the ability to lead without micromanaging.

He founded his first company that focused on Application Performance Management, Wiley Technologies, and sold it in 2006. After the sale, Cirne knew he could build something new for the cloud-computing era that would rely on the Web’s dynamic computer programming languages. This led to his founding of New Relic in 2007.

Cirne took a recently established market, application performance management, which he basically created at Wiley, and combined it with a new distribution model with additional features that add value to the customer. The idea is to be the app developer’s best friend.

He hopes to maintain the innovation and creativity that he has established even when New Relic goes public and has outside shareholders. The goal is to continue to innovate and create new markets that establish the “second act” of a company. The biggest — and welcomed — challenge will be meeting the huge demand for a tool that provides visibility into software applications no matter where they run.

Cirne has great confidence in his staff, trusting them to do their jobs. He hires strong, intelligent people and gives them the necessary autonomy and resources to be successful.

It also is important to Cirne that everyone who joins the firm enjoys their time at the company. He strives to maintain a good work-life balance and rarely do employees work more than 40 hours per week — a rare statistic for a high-growth pre-IPO company.

New Relic has managed to scale and grow to having the most applications under management running in the cloud than all other competitors combined. It is the only cloud-based APM company on the market today.

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