Red Hat today announced Paul Cormier as its new president and CEO, effective immediately. Cormier takes the reins of the open source giant following long time CEO Jim Whitehurst’s move to new Red Hat owner IBM earlier this year.

Cormier joined Red Hat in 2001 and is credited with pioneering the company’s subscription model which helped make Red Hat Linux an enterprise standard. He also oversaw dozens of acquisitions as Red Hat expanded its offerings beyond Linux.

“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,” Cormier said in a statement.

Red Hat’s new president and CEO, Paul Cormier. Supplied.

“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 honoured to lead the company to help our customers solve their challenges and to keep Red Hat at the forefront of innovation.”

Cormier had previously served as Red Hat’s president of products and technologies and replaces previous CEO Jim Whitehurst who took one of Ginni Rometty’s leadership roles as president of IBM in January when she announced her retirement.

IBM purchased Red Hat for a record $34 billion in 2019 but has vowed to keep the organisations separate.

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

“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 honour 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.”

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