Newly appointed Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst is aiming to bring Red Hat, an open-source vendor with just below $500 million in revenue as of last year, into the billion-dollar range in the next three years.
If you recall, Jim Whitehurst left his position as COO of Delta Airlines, replacing Matt Szulik who stepped down after nine years for family health reasons on January 1. Matt Szulik is now the chairman of Red Hat’s board of directors.
Jim Whitehurst says in a Network World interview:
“Certainly we will move beyond just the [operating system], and I think we are already doing that to some extent. If you look at our Linux automation kind of broader technology vision and what we are looking at in delivering around SOA and middleware, we have a pretty compelling value proposition that we think works quite nicely together. I think we need to do a better job of articulating that in the marketplace. I think that is an area where our execution can improve.”
By improving its execution, Whitehurst wants to get JBoss to grow at twice the rate of RHEL. Hence, the idea is that the company will rely less on its already successful Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) offering. Instead, Red Hat middleware will work with virtualization to offer services as well as applications from independent software vendors in highly portable packages.
Granted, Red Hat is one of the most, if not the most successful open-sourced company to date. Still, an OS is not exactly the same as playing in the enterprise middleware arena and competing with the likes of Oracle and Sun.
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