The winner of IT Community Hero of the Year at the 2008 CNET Networks UK Business Technology Awards was Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu Foundation.
Mark Shuttleworth is the bridge between open source's activist heart and the needs of users who just want products that work. Without his focus, resources and determination, desktop open source would be years behind.
Not everyone agrees with Shuttleworth or the course that he has set Canonical on. However, the results speak for themselves, in the millions of Ubuntu deployments and the way in which it is increasingly seen as a player at the highest levels. At each stage, Shuttleworth has set seemingly impossible tasks for the community and, at each stage, the community has surprised itself at what it can do. That is true leadership — in a field many considered unleadable.