RALEIGH – Red Hat has a new chief executive officer with veteran leader Paul Cormier moving up to chairman and Matt Hicks, the Hatters’ head of products and technologies, replacing him in the CEO role.
The news was announced Tuesday afternoon – first in emails from Cromier and Hicks sent to Red Hat employees then released after the markets closed.
CRN, a tech news website that closely follows Red Hat, described the move as a “surprise.”
Arvind Krishna, chairman and CEO, IBM
IBM chair and CEO Arvind Krishna praised Hicks in the news announcement.
“Red Hat serves as the foundation of so many clients’ technology strategies because of its open source and 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 to develop innovative, industry leading software,” he said.
IBM acquired Red Hat in 2018.
Cormier, a veteran Hatter with more than 20 years at the IBM subsidiary based in Raleigh, took over as CEO in 2020 in the wake of IBM’s takeover. Cromier succeeded longtime chief executive Jim Whitehurst who became No. 2 at IBM. He later left the company.
Hicks’ previous role as executive vice president of products and technologies. He, too, is a longtime Red Hat veteran, having worked at the open source and cloud computing focused company since 2006. He began his career as a software developer, according to Red Hat.
“There has never been a more exciting time to be in our industry and the opportunity in front of Red Hat is vast. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and prove that open source technology truly can unlock the world’s potential,” Hicks said in a statement.
“Matt is the exemplification of a true Red Hatter and is absolutely the right person to step into this role. His experience across different parts of our business has given him depth and breadth of knowledge about how we can best work together to scale and remain the open hybrid cloud leader. He understands our product strategy and the direction the industry is moving in a way that’s second to none. As chairman, I’m excited to get to work with our customers, partners, and Matt in new ways. My focus moving forward will be on helping customers drive innovation forward with a hybrid cloud platform built on open source technology. Open source technology has won the innovation debates and whatever the future looks like, it’s going to be built on open source technology and Red Hat will be there.”