In January, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty announced she would be stepping down from her position. With Arvind Krishna tapped to succeed as the company’s new CEO, a subsequent announcement was made that Jim Whitehurst would be joining IBM and leaving his post as Red Hat’s CEO. Now, the company has revealed that long-time executive Paul Cormier will take over as the new president and CEO of Red Hat.
Cormier has been at the company since 2001, joining as its VP of engineering. During his tenure, he’s seen the once freely downloadable operating system blossom into Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the industry’s leading enterprise Linux platform that today powers more than 90% of Fortune 500 organizations.
For over a decade, Cormier has championed a vision for open hybrid cloud, giving customers the flexibility to deliver any app, anywhere on any infrastructure. 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 also forged industry-changing partnerships, including a landmark collaboration with Microsoft to bring broader choice to hybrid cloud deployments. He has notably played a pivotal role in Red Hat’s structural collaboration with IBM, focused on scaling and accelerating the company while maintaining its independence and neutrality.
“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. “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.”
Former CEO Whitehurst sees this as a logical transition. “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 said in a statement.