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From Vizuri's Experts

Thank You to Former Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst

We are thankful to have known Jim for as long as we have and had the chance to mature as an organization under his leadership at Red Hat.

In June 2021, it was announced that Jim Whitehurst was stepping away from Red Hat, our SVP Joe Dickman reflected on 12 year of a strong partnership with Red Hat and an equally strong relationship with Jim. Red Hat is in the capable hands of Paul Cormier, who we are continuing to work closely with and expand our partnership.

Jim’s revolutionary thinking, captured in his book The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance, pushed the boundaries of open principles of management. These lessons come through in everything Jim does, and these thoughts are echoed by Joe below. Read on to learn more about the growth of Red Hat, Jim’s impact on the organization, and the future of open source as a software methodology.

Could you tell us about how you and Jim first met?

We actually met back in 2009 at the Red Hat Summit in Chicago. At that point, Jim was fairly new to Red Hat and his goal was to get to know the partners that were invested in moving the stick and advancing the adoption of open source as a software development philosophy. I was a part of the Partner Advisory Council that was first established in 2007.

What was your first impression of Jim?

The first thing I noticed about Jim was his sincerity. When we met, we discussed the partner advisory council, and he was interested in understanding what motivated the partners and how to bring partners into the Red Hat Community. Jim was the kind of person who could leave his title at the door when you worked with him. It was evident that he was there to listen and understand the individual thoughts of partners. Over our years working together, Jim maintained that sense of sincerity. Even if you were in a crowded room, Jim knew how to make everyone feel noticed and understood.

What was one of the first things you noticed about working with Jim that made it special?

Jim really foresaw the open organization and the open community. He saw the way that people would work collaboratively and the importance of inclusiveness to improve software development. He saw the value in the contributions of many and he made it Red Hat’s responsibility to bring those contributions to bear in a commoditized way that made them ready for enterprise production and use.

What do you think Jim’s best qualities are?

Jim has a reputation for being an extremely good listener. Not only was he a good listener but was great at understanding the bigger picture of what others were saying and taking action quickly. Jim really brought the ethos of the open source community and open organization, collaboration, communication, and community, to the company. He valued all voices and that attitude extended into the partner community. It was more about the quality of your work, commitment to the organization, and innovativeness that mattered to Red Hat and Jim.

What do you think the future holds for Jim?

Jim’s passion for collaboration and his focus on culture will help him make inroads with whatever he does next. Jim has great experience both as a technical expert and on the business side of an enterprise. He spends a lot of time investing in understanding and internalizing both technical and business knowledge as he works with his leadership team. We are proud to have known and worked with Jim for as long as we have.

As Red Hat and Vizuri continue to work together, how will that relationship continue to grow?

We are confident that Paul Cormier, Ashesh Badani, and the Red Hat organization will continue Jim’s great work. Paul is going to continue to deliver innovation and make Red Hat’s OpenShift hybrid cloud the standard for organizations. Vizuri is excited to continue working with Red Hat going forward.

Guest Expert

From time-to-time, Vizuri welcomes perspectives from external experts. These posts are written independently and do not imply any endorsements by Vizuri. To pitch Vizuri with your content ideas, please email solutions@vizuri.com.