cPanel has been developed by cPanel, L.L.C., a privately owned corporation headquartered in Houston, Texas, United States.
The software was originally designed as the control panel for Speed Hosting, a now-defunct web hosting company. The original author of cPanel, John Nick Koston, had a stake in Speed Hosting. Webking quickly began using cPanel after their merger with Speed Hosting. The new company moved their servers to Virtual Development Inc. (VDI), a now-defunct hosting facility. Following an agreement between Koston and VDI, cPanel was only available to customers hosted directly at VDI. At the time there was little competition in the control panel market, with the main choices being VDI and Alabanza.
Eventually, due to Koston leaving for college, William Jensen and John Koston, signed a Split Agreement. cPanel split into a separate program called WebPanel; this version was run by VDI. Without the lead programmer, VDI was not able to continue any work on cPanel and eventually stopped supporting it completely. Koston kept working on cPanel while also working at BurstNET. Eventually, Nick left BurstNET on good terms to focus fully on cPanel. cPanel has since been updated and improved over the years.
cPanel 3 was released in 1999: main additions over cPanel 2 were an automatic upgrade and the Web Host Manager (WHM). The interface was also improved when Carlos Rego of WizardsHosting made what became the default theme of cPanel.
On August 20, 2018 cPanel L.L.C. announced it had signed an agreement to be acquired by a group led by Oakley Capital (who also own Plesk and SolusVM. While Nick sold his interest in cPanel, he will continue to be an owner of the company that owns cPanel.