CEO Matt Hicks On Red Hat Layoffs, IBM’s Open Source Vision
“[Layoffs are] a healthy thing that you have to do every once in awhile to make sure you’re putting investment in the right areas that are going to help you keep being successful with customers,” Red Hat CEO Matt Hicks tells CRN.
IBM absorbed Red Hat’s storage business last year. Are there any more pieces of Red Hat going over to IBM? Or is Red Hat settled in now since IBM acquired you four years ago?
We’ve always refined our portfolio in picking projects we participate in or not. The last component we moved to IBM was the storage area. I’ve described that as: it was the right technology and it was a thriving community, but our space as a platform business—we sort of only knew how to attach it to the platforms.
That actually held that technology back a bit. IBM was just a more natural fit. They know how to sell and they’re committed to storage. For storage’s sake, they could take that technology further than we can. I always look at our portfolio this way.
I would say strategy-wise, we have a very stable base with IBM where they look to Red Hat for that open hybrid cloud base. Even when you look at the AI areas, we underpin the Watson announcements with OpenShift AI.
So as we’re four years into this, we found some really stable swim lanes of where we do well on it. But I also think you’ll see IBM adjust and we’ll adjust.
Like IBM and their Watson X announcements partnering with Hugging Face, which is sort of an open-source AI model, which I was really excited about. It’s not IBM is proprietary and Red Hat has the open source. You will see some blurring of that as IBM is more comfortable with open source and really adopts it. I think that’s a great thing for open source, not a thing that’s impeding on Red Hat’s ability.