Red Hat announces Matt Hicks as new CEO
Red Hat Inc. surprised today by announcing that Matt Hicks has been promoted to President and CEO, effective immediately.
Hicks (pictured) takes the reins from current chairman and chief executive Paul Cormier, who has moved upstairs to become the open source software provider’s new chairman.
Red Hat is a subsidiary of IBM Corp. and considered one of the pioneers of open source software. Its flagship product is the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, which is widely used to power thousands of enterprise data centers around the world. The company also sells tools around virtualization, software containers, middleware and various other applications. It was acquired by IBM in 2019 for $34 billion.
IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said Red Hat serves as the foundation for thousands of enterprise technology strategies through its open-source hybrid cloud capabilities. “Matt’s deep experience and technical knowledge of Red Hat’s entire portfolio makes him the ideal leader as Red Hat continues to grow and develop innovative, industry-leading software,” he said. declared.
In IBM’s latest quarterly earnings report, the company called Red Hat a key and growing revenue driver. Red Hat’s sales jumped 21% in the quarter from a year earlier. IBM said it was also well positioned to take advantage of further growth, having recently forged a partnership with Nvidia Corp. which will allow it to create new applications based on artificial intelligence that span data centers, clouds and the network edge.
New Chief Hicks joined the company in 2006 as a software developer on one of its information technology teams. He became a key member of the engineering team that created Red Hat OpenShift, the company’s Kubernetes platform, helping to extend this offering to span multiple clouds and other environments.
Hicks also helped the company deliver new managed cloud offerings, AI capabilities, and cloud-native applications. His importance to the company was highlighted at the last Red Hat Summit in May, where he delivered part of his keynote.
During this event, Hicks stopped by theCUBE, SiliconANGLE’s mobile livestream studio, where he talked about how the company’s commitment to open source software helps drive innovation:
“There has never been a more exciting time to be in our industry and the opportunity ahead of Red Hat is vast,” Hicks said in a statement today. “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and prove that open source technology can truly unlock the potential of the world.”
Reaction to the news from industry analysts has been positive. Charles King of Pund-IT Inc. told SiliconANGLE that Hicks is an interesting if somewhat predictable choice as Red Hat’s next CEO, given that he has both experience and credibility in terms of engineering leadership and commercial product development.
“The fact that he is a long-time Red Hat executive is an important point, as it suggests the company is looking to continue its steady progression and evolution,” King added. “This is further underscored by Cormier’s elevation to the position of President. Overall, Red Hat seems to be well placed individually and also in its collaboration with IBM.
Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said IBM needs to choose its CEO wisely because he’s betting hard on the future success of Red Hat’s software offerings.
“Fortunately, Red Hat appears to be in good hands with Hicks leading both the product and the platform with a strong track record,” Mueller said. “This could signal the start of a shift at Red Hat, where it is evolving to become more of a research and development subsidiary than a full-fledged helper with its own go-to-market strategy.”
Cormier had been in the CEO hot seat since 2020, having taken over from his predecessor Jim Whitehurst, who became chairman of IBM after the acquisition of Red Hat. In his new role, he will work on business growth, expanding customer adoption and mergers and acquisitions, IBM said. In a statement, Cormier said Hicks was “absolutely the right person” to serve as Red Hat’s next CEO, noting how his experience in different parts of the company has given him the depth and breadth of knowledge to remain a hybrid cloud leader.
“He understands our product strategy and where the industry is headed in a way that’s second to none,” Cormier said. “As president, I’m excited to work with our customers, partners and Matt in new ways.”