My Interview with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst

Figuring I had nothing to lose, the first day of the Red Hat summit I introduced myself to Red Hat's new CEO and president, Jim Whitehurst and asked if he would be up for a podcast. 

Instead of making up some plausible excuse, he was very receptive and gave me his card.  He also gave me his cell number and told me to give him a call the following day to set something up.

When we got together I was very impressed with how approachable and down to earth Jim was as well as his excitement and enthusiasm for his job.  Take a listen...

My interview with Jim (12:10)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)


Fedora fan #1, Jim Whitehurst

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • How Jim heard about the opportunity at Red Hat
  • Jim's programming background and his work at Delta as COO
  • Matt Szulik is the visionary, Jim's emphasis is on execution and "focus, focus, focus"
  • Red Hat is "all in" when it comes to open source and how their last non-free offering (RHN satellite) went free that day.
  • Proprietary software isn't wrong, open source is simply a better model (that being said, he'd love to see IBM open source DB2)
  • His conversation with Jonathan Schwartz and the challenge that Jonathan faces
  • Reaching out to other open source players and taking them to dinner
  • What are Jim's biggest opportunities and challenges
  • Jim's key areas of focus for Red Hat (a couple of which are virtualization and making sure Linux is "cloud ready")
Pau for now...

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I look after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as our relationship with the FSF. Last year, my family and I emigrated from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX.

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