Red Hat names new chief executive

Red Hat names new chief executive

Open source giant also announced its third quarter fiscal year 2008 results

Former Delta Air Lines chief operating officer, James Whitehurst, has been selected as the new president and chief executive of Red Hat, replacing Matthew Szulik who has stepped down from the post but will maintain the role of chairman of the board of directors.

On behalf of Red Hat's board of directors, William Kaiser, lead director, said: "For nearly a decade, Matthew Szulik's vision and leadership legitimized free, open source software as an innovative and profitable business model. From Red Hat's early days as a small, private company, Szulik transformed Red Hat into a globally recognized brand whose approach to technology development and customer service has redefined the software industry."

He continued: "After an extensive search, Red Hat has selected a talented executive who has successfully led a global technology-focused organization at Delta. Jim is a hands on guy who will be a strong cultural fit at Red Hat."

Whitehurst joined Delta Airlines in 2002, serving in various roles, most recently as chief operating officer. Prior to joining Delta, Whitehurst served as vice president and director of The Boston Consulting Group.

"Red Hat has changed the way people consume technology. This is an outstanding company that I feel privileged to join," said Whitehurst. "Our outlook is positive with strong technology, great people, solid management and a global brand and I welcome this opportunity to lead Red Hat into the future."

The open source vendor also announced its third quarter fiscal year 2008 results, reporting total revenue for the quarter of $135.4m, an increase of 28 per cent from the year ago quarter, and six per cent up on the previous quarter.

Net income for the quarter was $20.3m, compared with $18.2m, in the previous quarter and $14.6m for the year ago quarter.