Longtime Red Hat executive and open hybrid cloud visionary steps into leadership role succeeding Jim Whitehurst
RALEIGH, N.C. — April 6, 2020 — Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that it has named Paul Cormier as president and chief executive officer of Red Hat, effective today. Cormier, who previously served as Red Hat’s president of Products and Technologies, succeeds Jim Whitehurst, who is now president of IBM.
Since joining Red Hat in 2001, Cormier’s leadership and vision have driven major strategy shifts and expansion of the company’s portfolio of products and services. Cormier is credited with pioneering the subscription model that transformed Red Hat from an open source disruptor to an enterprise technology mainstay, moving Red Hat Linux from a freely downloadable operating system to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the industry’s leading enterprise Linux platform that today powers more than 90% of Fortune 500 organizations.
Cormier has driven more than 25 acquisitions at Red Hat, moving the company well beyond its Linux roots and helped create a full, modern IT stack based on open source innovation that disrupted the IT industry. The availability of true enterprise-grade open source products across the technology stack and changing business models have made open source a de facto source of innovation in the software industry, resulting in faster progress than proprietary vendors could provide alone.
For more than a decade, Cormier has championed a vision for open hybrid cloud, giving customers the flexibility to deliver any app, anywhere on any infrastructure from the edge and bare metal to multiple public clouds in a common, consistent manner. That vision helped establish Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform, as a backbone of hybrid cloud deployments across industries. Cormier has also forged industry-changing partnerships, including a landmark partnership with Microsoft to bring broader choice to hybrid cloud deployments. He has been instrumental in Red Hat’s structural combination with IBM, focused on scaling and accelerating Red Hat while maintaining its independence and neutrality.
During his tenure at Red Hat, Whitehurst oversaw Red Hat’s expansion and increasing influence across the technology industry including growing revenue from more than $500 million to almost $3 billion for the company’s 2018 fiscal year, as well as the landmark acquisition of Red Hat by IBM for $34 billion in 2019. Under his leadership, Red Hat was named to Forbes’ list of “The World’s Most Innovative Companies” six times and named to Fortune’s list of the Most Admired Companies in 2019 and 2020. In addition to his new role as president of IBM, Whitehurst becomes chairman of Red Hat, succeeding Arvind Krishna, who is now CEO of IBM.
Paul Cormier, president and CEO, Red Hat
“When I joined Red Hat, it would have been impossible to predict how Linux and open source would change our world, but they are truly everywhere. The transformations I see happening in our industry are exciting, as they present new challenges and opportunities. The opportunity for Red Hat has never been bigger than it is today and I am honored to lead the company to help our customers solve their challenges and to keep Red Hat at the forefront of innovation.”
Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM
“Red Hat is synonymous with open source and hybrid cloud – two of the biggest driving forces in our industry. Paul’s deep engineering skills, product expertise and industry vision make him the right leader to capitalize on this opportunity and fuel Red Hat’s continued technology innovation and accelerated growth.”
Jim Whitehurst, president, IBM
“After working with him closely for more than a decade, I can confidently say that Paul was the natural choice to lead Red Hat. Having been the driving force behind Red Hat’s product strategy for nearly two decades, he’s been intimately involved in setting the company’s direction and uniquely understands how to help customers and partners make the most out of their cloud strategy. He is a proven leader and his commitment to open source principles and ways of working will enable Red Hat not only to keep pace with the demands of enterprise IT, but also lead the way as emerging technologies break into the mainstream. It was my honor and privilege to lead a company filled with many of our industry’s best and brightest and I am excited to see what Red Hatters accomplish under Paul’s leadership.”
About Red Hat, Inc.
Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. Red Hat helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize on our industry-leading operating system, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments. Award-winning support, training, and consulting services make Red Hat a trusted adviser to the Fortune 500. As a strategic partner to cloud providers, system integrators, application vendors, customers, and open source communities, Red Hat can help organizations prepare for the digital future.
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