Open-source software products firm Red Hat has appointed longtime insider and hybrid cloud champion Paul Cormier as president and CEO of the company. Cormier succeeds Jim Whitehurst, who has moved on to the role of president at IBM, which acquired Red Hat for $34 billion in 2018.
Cormier, who joined Red Hat in May 2001 as executive vice president of engineering, previously served as Red Hat’s president of products and technologies, the company said in a media statement.
According to Red Hat, Cormier was instrumental in driving major strategy shifts and expansion of the company’s portfolio of products and services. He is also credited with pioneering the subscription model that transformed Red Hat from an open-source disruptor to an enterprise technology mainstay.
Cormier moved Red Hat Linux from a freely downloadable operating system to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, one of the industry’s leading enterprise Linux platforms today powering more than 90% of Fortune 500 organisations, the company said.
“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 while presenting new challenges and opportunities,” Cormier said.
Another big change that Cormier brought into Red Hat was the company's merger and acquisition strategy. He has driven more than 25 acquisitions, moving the company well beyond its Linux roots and helped create a full, modern information technology stack based on open source innovation.
“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 capitalise on this opportunity,” Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM, said.
Early this year, Armonk, New York-headquartered IBM elected Indian-origin executive Krishna, who was then senior vice president of cloud and cognitive software, as CEO of the firm.
Raleigh, North Carolina-based Red Hat said that the availability of 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 what proprietary vendors could have provided alone.
Cormier had championed a vision for open hybrid cloud, which helped Red Hat establish OpenShift, an enterprise Kubernetes platform, for hybrid cloud deployments across industries, Red Hat said. Hybrid cloud gives 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.
Several industry-changing partnerships, including a landmark partnership with Microsoft, was signed by Red Hat under Cormier’s leadership, which helped customers to broaden their choice to hybrid cloud deployments.
“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 leading the way as emerging technologies break into the mainstream,” Whitehurst, president, IBM, said.
Red Hat acknowledged Whitehurst's role in overseeing 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 by IBM.
Brenden Paget, director product portfolio at the APAC office of technology at Red Hat, recently told TechCircle that open hybrid cloud can help enterprises build a sustainable long-term strategy to adopt multi-cloud, hybrid cloud solutions without being locked into a single vendor.
In a recent interview with TechCircle, Ameeta Roy, who heads the solution architecture team for Red Hat India and South Asia, said the firm is offering true portability of apps and data in hybrid cloud, which is not possible by public and private cloud providers.