Michael Tiemann on his new boss

Red Hat's new CEO may be just what Red Hat needs.

After my initial fit about Red Hat's selection of its new CEO, I've softened and believe that Jim Whitehurst can be a good leader for Red Hat. He's dealt with pilot strikes, surly customers (at ~150,000 miles/year on Delta, I can sometimes be one of those), and hefty fixed costs and fixed problems, Mr. Whitehurst has his share of experience dealing with seemingly intractable issues.

The one thing that I believe remains to be seen from Red Hat's new CEO is passion for open source. Michael Tiemann suggests that this may be a misplaced concern:

The candidate selected to lead Red Hat does understand these values, as a user, as a coder, as a manager, as a customer, and as an executive. In my opinion he should be marked up, not down, for having had experience beyond just open source.

But that's just because I have met hundreds of executives around the world representing every major industry and more than a few governments, and I've always been most impressed by those who tell me about the open source software they run at home and why. What a tragedy it would be to discount all that experience, all that knowledge, all that energy because the executive in question has a day job running a petrochemical company, a manufacturing company, a logistics company, a trading company, a bank, or a national government!

OK. I'm willing to believe.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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