RED HAT has announced the sudden departure of its long-serving CTO, Brian Stevens.
In a curt and matter of fact press release, the enterprise Linux vendor announced, "Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Brian Stevens will step down as CTO."
Red Hat CEO and president Jim Whitehurst added, "We want to thank Brian for his years of service and numerous contributions to Red Hat’s business. We wish him well in his future endeavors.
"In the interim, the office of the CTO will be managed by Paul Cormier, president of products and technologies at Red Hat."
Stevens' decision after serving in the role since 2001 has come out of left field for not only the staff of Red Hat but the entire industry, both for its suddenness and its lack of explanation. His name was a familiar one to The INQUIRER, as many announcements made by Red Hat have come directly from him.
Sean Michael Kerner of eWeek cited rumours that there was no evidence of internal wrangling or disagreement, but rather that Stevens received an offer that he didn't want to refuse.
It could turn out that that offer came from one of Red Hat's major competitors, hence the vague announcement, and we almost certainly have not heard the last from a major player in the enterprise Linux game.
However, with Red Hat Enterprise Linux Openstack 7 now fully cementing the company in the cloud era, Stevens might simply have thought it was the right time to move on.
Time will tell, with other sources having suggested there was a rift between Cormier and Stevens.
Red Hat employees have a history of longevity, which has many advantages, but slow turnover tends to thwart ambition, motivating frustrated executives to look further afield. µ