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IBM CEO Ginni Rometty’s 5 Biggest Statements At The Red Hat Summit

‘Working together is the right word. Coming together is not necessarily the way I would describe this,’ IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said about the acquisition during a keynote with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst at the Red Hat Summit. ‘Jim and I have both agreed—Red Hat should stay an independent unit.’

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Red Hat And IBM’s Cultures

Whitehurst: So culture is critically important, I would argue, to Red Hat’s success, and we've worked to build a distinctive culture. IBM is a storied, over 100-year-old company with a really distinctive culture. How do you see those cultures working together, coming together?

Rometty: Well, working together is the right word. Coming together is not necessarily the way I would describe this. Jim and I have talked. This was one of the most important things. To preserve what open source is and the value of it, it is open innovation, so all welcome. So part of what binds us is the same mission. We would both agree we are on a mission to scale open source. So, that's a good place to start from when you talk about two cultures. But the next thing … and Jim and I have both agreed, Red Hat should stay an independent unit. Now we say, well, why would you do that? There's really great reasons for that. The whole idea of having a platform that invites innovation from everyone, it means everyone. So you want to have it built on open source, built on open standards. And then the terms and conditions of open source, so all those reasons, the open ecosystem. The only thing we can help do is help power it to go even further, wider, have more people certified, etc. So think of that as really broad scale horizontally. So, we're both in agreement that stays as an independent unit, and the work that really … the whole team has done —you've worked so hard on that culture—and actually my observation has been the teams … work very well together. They are very like-minded on this.

The other side of this is that then, IBM will change. It's easier for me to change and to change IBM in that so much of what Red Hat does, we’ll build on top of that. And hopefully then what we'll offer to clients is, if they choose, a really secure mission-critical stack, a hybrid cloud stack. So there's a choice, or you have a choice to run it other places. But so really continue, and I hope together we take that—it is the world standard of open. It's just a bigger and broader plate for innovation everywhere.

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