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Paul Cormier Replaces Jim Whitehurst As A New President & CEO of Red Hat

Paul Cormier Replaces Jim Whitehurst As A New President & CEO of Red Hat

Paul Cormier Replaces Jim Whitehurst As A New President & CEO of Red Hat

Earlier this year, when Ginni Rometty stepped down as IBM CEO, the company announced that Arvind Krishna would be going to take over Rometty’s leadership and Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst would become president of the company. Now, In order to fill his role, Red Hat announced that long-time executive Paul Cormier has been named as the president and CEO of the company.

Cormier has been with the company since 2001, and with 19 years in the company, he becomes the logical choice to run Red Hat. Cormier started as the VP of engineering and has seen the company grow from a small startup to a multi-billion dollar company.

On this occasion, in a letter to the company employees, Cormier stated that “Looking back to when I joined, in 2001, the company was in a different position and facing different issues, however our spirit was the same, where we were on a mission to persuade the importance of open.”

He further stated, “To convince the world that open source was real, safe and enterprise-grade, we had to take risks. Some of those risks were product-related, like the shift to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and some were M&A decisions, like our acquisition of Qumranet (which led to Red Hat Virtualization) and eNovance (which expanded Red Hat Consulting and our OpenStack expertise).”

Agreeing to the decision, former CEO Whitehurst said in a statement that “After working with him closely for more than a decade, I can confidently say that Paul was the natural choice to lead Red Hat.”

He further stated, “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.”

In an interview with Cormier, he discussed the kind of alterations he wishes to see under his leadership in the next five years of the company. 

He said, “There’s a term that we use today, “applications run the business.” In five years I see it becoming the case for the majority of enterprises. And with that, the infrastructure underpinning these applications will be even more critical. Management and security are paramount – and this isn’t just one environment.”

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He further stated, “Complexity is increasing in applications and the underlying infrastructure, and we need to find ways to abstract this complexity to make things more manageable. But it’s not just the infrastructure – the way we build these business-critical applications is also changing. Linux and open source development tools are becoming the norm, if they aren’t already in many environments. Red Hat is the best positioned company to provide these tools and associated infrastructure in a fully open and supported way. We aren’t just open, and we aren’t just enterprise-grade – we’re both. That’s what is needed right now.”

It was 2018, when IBM bought Red Hat for $34 billion, and since then people were expecting Whitehurst to eventually take over in an executive position there. With that happening, Cormier stepped up to run and lead Red Hat and drive innovations.

Although the company Red Hat is working under the IBM umbrella, it continues to operate as a separate entity with its own executive structure. However, the vision for Red Hat outlined by Cormier will be in line with the IBM family as the company is trying to make its position on the shifting cloud and enterprise open-source markets.

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