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Former Red Hat exec leaves Zmanda after short stint, brain drain at Red Hat continues

Former Red Hat online chief Pete Childers has resigned as CEO of Zmanda after a two-month stint in that role.Childers, who joined Zmanda in May of 2007 and left in July, is now CEO of Claritive Systems, a Palo Alto, calif.

Former Red Hat online chief Pete Childers has resigned as CEO of Zmanda after a two-month stint in that role.

Childers, who joined Zmanda in May of 2007 and left in July, is now CEO of Claritive Systems, a Palo Alto, calif. software consulting and strategy firm owned by Delphi Communications. Chander Kant, a founder of the Sunnyvale, Calif. open source storage company, is now serving as Zmanda's CEO.

Observers say what's more intriguing is the continued brain drain at Red Hat. Before joining Zmanda in May, Childers held several executive leadership positions at Red Hat during his nine-year tenure, including vice president of Red Hat's Global Learning Services and Vice President of Online Strategy and Operations.

In a brief conversation, Childers declined to comment on his reasons for leaving Zmanda in July, just two months after accepting the job. He also declined to comment on the reasons for his departure from Red Hat.

Some observers say the recent departures of Childers and Joanne Rohde, former executive vice president of worldwide operations at Red Hat, and JBoss founder Marc Fleury in February, amounts to a big brain drain at the Linux company in 2007.

Rohde, who resigned on October 11, joined Red Hat in 2004 from UBS Investment Bank, where she served as Managing Director, Information Technology and Chief Procurement Officer. She was replaced by insider Nick Van Wyk, who previously served as vice president of global operations for Red Hat.

Observers say Red Hat JBoss founder and CEO Marc Fleury left Red Hat in February, less than a year after the Linux company bought JBoss for $350 million.

Childers acknowledged the departures of key execs but inists there are no major problems at the Raligh, NC company. He maintains that executive turnover at Red Hat is between 15 and 20 percent, average compared to most high-tech companies. "Everything remains extremely positive at Red Hat," Childers said. "Red Hat brings top talent in. I don't know that the turnover is any better or worse than any other company."