President and CEO, Red Hat
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
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Barbara Van Allen
President and CEO, The Economic Club of New York
Paul Cormier was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Hat in April 2020. Prior to that, he was the company's President of Products and Technologies, driving major strategy shifts and expansion of its portfolio of products and services.
Cormier joined Red Hat in May 2001 as Executive Vice President of Engineering. Since that time, his leadership and experience in enterprise technology helped to pioneer a commercial business model for open source software, moving open source innovation from passionate communities to broad adoption from the datacenter to the cloud.
Cormier is credited with leading efforts to replace Red Hat's freely downloadable and boxed business model for Red Hat® Linux® in 2002 with an enterprise subscription model that satisfied open source licensing requirements to retain the open source principles of freedom while creating a long-term sustainable business model. Doing so via the introduction of Red Hat Enterprise Linux® helped change the trajectory for open source software in the enterprise and repositioned Red Hat from a consumer-based company with $50 million in annual revenue to the world's largest open source-based software company and an enterprise tech mainstay with more than $3 billion in annual revenue.
Under Cormier's leadership, Red Hat's product portfolio expanded well beyond its Linux roots to a full, modern enterprise IT stack based on open source innovation that disrupted the IT industry. In 2012, Red Hat became the industry's first open source software company to achieve more than $1 billion in revenue. In 2019, IBM acquired Red Hat for $34 billion — the industry's largest software acquisition to date.
Cormier is also credited with pioneering the vision for one open hybrid cloud platform that could span traditional, on-premises hardware to multiple clouds, helping to deliver the choice, flexibility, agility, and consistency that is required of modern enterprise IT. As part of this vision, he has also been instrumental in forging strategic partnerships with many leading technology companies, enabling technologies to work across hybrid enterprise IT environments and multiple clouds.
Cormier brought extensive experience to Red Hat, previously serving as Senior Vice President of Research and Development at BindView Development Corp., where he helped the company achieve market leadership. He joined BindView following the company's 1999 acquisition of Netect Internet Software Co. Cormier joined Netect in 1998 as its Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Technology Officer. From 1996 to 1998, he served as Director of Engineering, Internet Security, and Collaboration Products, then as Senior Director of Software Product Development and Internet Security Products for AltaVista Internet Software, a web portal and internet services company (previously Digital's Internet Software group).
Cormier has served as a Section 16 officer of publicly traded companies for more than 20 years and currently serves on the boards of Solarwinds Inc., an IT management software provider; and Hortonworks, a data software company. He was an original member of the Hortonworks board of directors and was instrumental in driving its 2018 merger with Cloudera.