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Culture

Red Hat CEO faces generational divide

Matthew Szulik sees a generational divide when talking to customers: the older ones hate him.

SAN FRANCISCO--Red Hat Chief Executive Matthew Szulik, leader of the most influential open-source software company, suffers from a new variety of age discrimination.

"When I walk into a customer (meeting), I always find it amazing--the demographic split," he said in Tuesday a speech at the Open Source Business Conference here. "The people 40 years old are on one side of the table, and they absolutely hate me, and the other side is 25 and under, and I'm pretty cool to them."

MySQL Chief Executive Marten Mickos said in an interview that he's observed a similar phenomenon. People rarely change, he said, so usually the shift to open-source software use comes with the arrival of a new generation of technologists at a company.