Software News

CEO Matt Hicks On Red Hat Layoffs, IBM’s Open Source Vision

Mark Haranas

“[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.

What’s your big market differentiation over your competitors in 2023 when it comes to open cloud technologies?

I will put it in two buckets. The first is that we don’t mix an open-source and proprietary model on it.

So there’s no secret sauce that we try to hold back on it, which I’m happy about. If we see how fast open source is innovating, it’s a challenge to have a foot in both camps for that. So the first differentiator for us is: We join thriving communities, we contribute back to them, and then we try to channel that innovation into a way that enterprise customers can use it.

That’s still pretty unique. That’s one we really believe in. We’ve been able to find that balance where it’s a healthy business for us. But then it also really lets open-source communities thrive.

The second piece that’s been helpful for us is, we’re infrastructure neutral.

We make data centers work. We’re happy if you end up in the public cloud. We partner with Amazon, Google, Microsoft. We’re also equally excited about the edge. We’ve always been hardware neutral to some standpoint. If you look at the early days of RHEL, we helped enable you to move from Dell servers to HP servers, and back — whatever your hardware choice was.

[Customer cloud lock-in] has really amplified quite a bit where we don’t have our own cloud. We’re not trying to lock you into one position there.

We want to have platforms that run in all those locations. So then you get our open-source innovation and it’s reach-of-model. Our hope is, if you learn our approach to it, it is broadly applicable for you to work in data centers or work in concert with public clouds. It’ll work at the edge. And then, hopefully, it lets you expand where you can innovate a bit more.


Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at

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