Red Hat names Paul Cormier president, CEO

Open-source solutions company Red Hat Inc. (Red Hat) has named longtime employee Paul Cormier as president and CEO effective April 6. Cormier takes over from Jim Whitehurst who is now president of IBM.

In 2018, technology company IBM Inc. announced its acquisition of Red Hatacquisition of Red Hat in efforts to change the cloud landscape and to become the world’s hybrid cloud provider.

Cormier joined Red Hat in 2001 and is known for “pioneering the subscription model that transformed Red Hat from an open-source disruptor to an enterprise technology mainstay moving Red Hat Linux from a freely downloadable operating system to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the industry’s leading enterprise Linux platform that today powers more than 90% of Fortune 500 organizations.”

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“When I joined Red Hat, it would have been impossible to predict how Linux and open source would change our world, but they are truly everywhere,” Cormier said. “The transformations I see happening in our industry are exciting, as they present new challenges and opportunities. The opportunity for Red Hat has never been bigger than it is today and I am honored to lead the company to help our customers solve their challenges and to keep Red Hat at the forefront of innovation.”

Cormier is responsible for 25 acquisitions at Red Hat. He forged industry-changing partnerships, including a landmark partnership with Microsoft to bring broader choice to hybrid cloud deployments. He has been instrumental in Red Hat’s structural combination with IBM, focused on scaling and accelerating Red Hat while maintaining its independence and neutrality.


He is also known to pursue open hybrid cloud so customers would have the flexibility to deliver any app, anywhere on any infrastructure from the edge and bare metal to multiple public clouds in a common, consistent manner.

With that approach, the company established the Red Hat OpenShift, a comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform, as a backbone of hybrid cloud deployments across industries.

“After working with him closely for more than a decade, I can confidently say that Paul was the natural choice to lead Red Hat,” said Whitehurst. “Having been the driving force behind Red Hat’s product strategy for nearly two decades, he’s been intimately involved in setting the company’s direction and uniquely understands how to help customers and partners make the most out of their cloud strategy. He is a proven leader and his commitment to open-source principles and ways of working will enable Red Hat not only to keep pace with the demands of enterprise IT but also lead the way as emerging technologies break into the mainstream. It was my honor and privilege to lead a company filled with many of our industry’s best and brightest and I am excited to see what Red Hatters accomplish under Paul’s leadership.”

Cormier served as senior vice president of research and development at BindView Development Corp. before coming to Red Hat. He joined BindView following the company’s 1999 acquisition of Netect Internet Software Company. Cormier joined Netect in 1998 as its vice president of Research & Development and Chief Technology Officer. From 1996 to 1998, Cormier first served as director of Engineering, Internet Security and Collaboration Products and then as senior director of Software Product Development, Internet Security Products for AltaVista Internet Software, a web portal and internet services company (previously Digital’s Internet Software group).