Like Cook, Silber was a smart choice. Under her guidance, as she said in a recent PC Magazine interview, "Ubuntu has industry adoption that is both broad and deep. Companies such as Walmart, Netflix, and eBay build their infrastructure on Ubuntu. Telcos such as Deutsche Telekom, AT&T, and NTT build their next-generation telecom capabilities on Ubuntu."
Moreover, Silber continued, "Companies such as Google and Intel use Ubuntu on their developer workstations. Further, Internet of Things (IoT) device manufacturers of gateways, networking devices, robots, and drones all use Ubuntu at scale."
He has also decided to focus Canonical's efforts even more on the cloud and IoT. How he will be doing that is changing. While details are still sketchy, Canonical insiders tell me that Shuttleworth, for the first time in the private company's history, will look for outside funding. For that job, Shuttleworth wants to be in charge.
While this look like a sudden decision from the outside, it's not. Silber said she'd "originally agreed to be CEO for five years and we've extended my tenure as CEO by a couple of years already." She also won't be leaving the job immediately. She'll remain the CEO until June 2017.
She also won't be leaving Canonical. She will move to the Canonical Board of Directors.
The dynamic Shuttleworth will take charge in July 2017. Before then, however, we should have a better idea on what his plans are for Canonical's next steps.