Reasons for Red Hat CTO departure still a mystery

Reasons for Red Hat CTO departure still a mystery

Summary: No one's saying why long-time Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens left the company, but it seems clear he left from his own desire for a bigger, better job elsewhere.


It's still not clear why Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens left the Linux giant. However, it now appears that he left to pursue a new opportunity at a major California-based technology company.

Brian Stevens Red Hat CTO
Brian Stevens, former Red Hat CTO

With the help of Stevens' technical leadership, Red Hat moved from being one of many Linux distributors that were targeting the Linux enthusiast market to focusing all its energies on the business market with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) in 2004. In more recent years, Stevens helped lead Red Hat into OpenStack and Docker.

In the meantime, Red Hat still has little to say. The only additional statement from Red Hat is a remark that Stevens was "leaving to pursue another opportunity." While Stevens did not reply to inquires, sources stated that he'd been biding his time waiting for the right opportunity.

Stevens' eyes may have been wandering elsewhere because of conflicts with Red Hat's president of products and technologies Paul Cormier. Cormier will be taking over the office of the CTO for the time being.

Red Hat staffers will miss him. One said, "I would follow Brian anywhere he took strategic decisions. He's a genuine careful considerate man who looked at the big picture. He crafted Red Hat into a finely spoked machine enabling community engagement, upstream intelligent contributions, and the ability to converse at a level that Red Hat never took for granted."

Another staffer commented: "He is one of the most highly respected people at Red Hat. He will be greatly missed. He's genuinely 'good people.'"

From the business side, Mizuho Securities senior technology analyst Abhey Lamba reiterated a Buy rating on Red Hat. In a note, he wrote that "we believe [Stevens] is leaving for another opportunity in the open source space." As for Red Hat, the analyst think that Red Hat will have "smooth transition" since Cormier is also a veteran Red Hat senior executive who's been with the company since 2001.

Related Stories:

Topics: Enterprise Software, Linux, Leadership

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Reasons for Red Hat CTO departure still a mystery

    One will have to wait for the mystery to be known.
  • Reasons for Red Hat CTO departure still a mystery

    It's no mystery. He saw that linux is a sinking ship and got out before its completely under water.
    • No

      Truth is not relative and facts are not opinions
    • How many times have you predicted the demise of Linux?

      What's this, about the millionth time since 2002?

      Don't you ever tire of being wrong?

      I think Brian has moved on because he wants a new challange. After all, Redhat is a resounding success, and will be just fine without Mr. Stevens.
      • I thought he started around 1995...

        And was a fool even then.
  • Why do you put up with it?

    A famous dooshbag troll hijacks every thread at SJVN pieces. In the meantime, a less-than-rosy comment about Microsoft lasts as long at Bott-land as a gnat fart. Why do you zdnet readers put up with this treatment?
    • Put up with it...

      One theory is that Loverock is SJVN himself, generating some clickbait.
      • Hmm

        Back when I used to actually frequent this place, I wondered if he might be a Linux fan just looking to rally the troops.
    • Some of SJVN's need

      to be hi-jacked but one like this is where SJVN needs to stay. He does better when he sticks to Linux and Linux based and stays out of MS and Apple. But I understand he needs click bait because the Linux articles do not attract enough hits. But they are still much better to read then his troll bait articles.
    • Why did Steven have to write another article on this topic?

      When he could have just updated the original article on this topic which was published just one day earlier:

      Surely, Steven know how to use the article update feature for bloggers at ZDNet?

      P.S. In answer to your question, the ZDNet Linux fanbois love Mr. Davidson. Without him, they'd all die of boredom.
      Rabid Howler Monkey