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Red Hat appoints Matt Hicks as CEO

Paul Cormier will move to chairman as the open-source giant continues its hybrid cloud push

Red Hat has appointed Matt Hicks as its new CEO and President, replacing Paul Cormier who will move to a new role as chairman. 

Hicks, who was the company's VP of products and technology, will look to solidify the firm's hybrid cloud offerings to boost its growth. 

Both Hicks and Cormier will report to Arvind Krishna, the CEO of Red Hat's parent company, IBM. As a sub-division of IBM, Red Hat has seen steady growth of around 20% annually, outpacing that of IBM as a whole. 

Hicks has been with Red Hat since 2006 when he joined as a developer on the IT Team. He quickly rose into several leadership roles and was a foundational member of the engineering team that developed Red Hat OpenShift. He is one of the company's most experienced hybrid cloud specialists.

"When I first joined Red Hat, I was passionate about open source and our mission, and I wanted to be a part of that," Hicks said. "I am humbled and energised to be stepping into this role at this moment. There has never been a more exciting time to be in our industry and the opportunity in front of Red Hat is vast. I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and prove that open source technology truly can unlock the world's potential."

The change of leadership ends Cormier's two-year reign of Red Hat. During that time, he has driven much of the company's open hybrid cloud strategy, playing an "instrumental" role in the expansion of the company's portfolio to a full, modern IT stack based on open source innovation. His efforts to transform Red Hat Linux from a freely downloadable operating system to a subscription model with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), have been cited as a pivotal moment, by the company itself. 

Regarding his replacement, Cormier said that Hicks was a "true Red Hatter" and the absolute right person to step into the role. 

"His experience across different parts of our business has given him depth and breadth of knowledge about how we can best work together to scale and remain the open hybrid cloud leader," Cormier added. 

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