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.