JBoss founder Marc Fleury leaves Red Hat, now what?

Marc Fleury, outspoken founder of JBoss and Senior Vice President at Red Hat, has left the building. "I have done what I can to help Red Hat succeed," he said, adding that the inevitability of open source "is beyond challenge or the force of individual personality."

Marc Fleury, outspoken founder of JBoss and Senior Vice President at Red Hat, has left the building.

Marc Fleury

"I have done what I can to help Red Hat succeed," he said in a short statement. "People need to understand that Open Source is a tsunami that is transforming the software industry in its wake and its inevitability is now well beyond challenge or the force of individual personality."

Red Hat confirmed Marc's resignation, saying "Marc Fleury has decided to leave Red Hat to pursue other personal interests, such as teaching, research in biology, music and his family."

Reactions

"Sounds like the entrepreneur in Marc was not going to operate smoothly at Red Hat", writes Dana Gardner, president and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions. "While Marc's presence - and ability to stir drama, passion, and allegiance - will reduce Red Hat's pizazz quotient, the Red Hat model endures."

"Are the programmers, the individualists, the crazy visionaries [like Marc] doomed to fail in a world that will be dominated by corporate open source companies?", wonders Dana Blankenhorn, founder of the Interactive Age Daily for CMP Media. "Who will gain the financial benefits open source offers, the suits or the people doing the work?"

"Fleury was nearly unique among open source project leaders," says Charles Babcock of InformationWeek.

"When Mark Fleury sold JBoss to Red Hat 10 months ago," writes Martin Veitch for the Inquirer, "it seemed an odd sort of marriage. So it’s no great surprise that the loquacious Frenchman and the 800-pound gorilla of business Linux are going their separate ways."

"Obviously, I cannot be fine to see him leave the company. In that sense it is a sad day," says Sacha Labourey, who worked with Marc at JBoss for several years. "But... I spoke with him yesterday and I can tell you he is full of energy, he is going to give his first math lesson today (trigonometry!), he has fun and he is happy! After 7 years of daily fights and stress, he can now enjoy some well deserved quality time."

"Like most of the developers of JBoss, I am very grateful to Marc. Without him I never would have really understood what it was like to make a living off of open source," writes former JBoss employee Andrew C. Oliver. "I understand why he wants to move on. I know my efforts at Buni.org build on his considerable work at making professional open source a reality."

What's next for Marc? 

With all the money he made from the JBoss acquisition, Fleury could simply retire and spend time with his family. But most people who know him think this is unlikely. The "next big thing" for Marc might be bioinformatics. On his idiosyncratic personal blog, Marc has written several articles recently about protein-protein interactions and cancer. Of course he's also written about Evolution vs. (or equals) Intelligent Design, how much he hates the Mac but loves the iPod, and his adventures with digital mixing and being a DJ. He also seems to be trying his hand at teaching. So... you never know.

Whatever project he jumps into next, one thing is certain. It, like Marc himself, will not be boring.

Bio

As of this writing, Marc's bio was still up on the redhat.com site. It reads: 

Marc Fleury, senior vice president and general manager of the JBoss division, brings more than ten years of technology experience to Red Hat. Fleury is the former CEO and founder of JBoss Inc., whose flagship open source JBoss Application Server was first released in 1999. At Red Hat, his responsibilities include managing the JBoss division and setting the application development direction for the company. While at JBoss, Fleury expanded on the success of the application server to drive development of JEMS (JBoss Enterprise Middleware System) as the leading open source platform for service-oriented architecture (SOA). While at JBoss, Fleury also participated in the EJB3 specification and pursued research on aspect oriented middleware.

Prior to founding JBoss, Fleury worked at Sun Microsystems, where he worked on Java-enablement of SAP. A former Lieutenant in the paratroopers, he holds a Ph.D. in Physics and a B.S. in Mathematics from Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, as well as a Masters in Theoretical Physics from the Ecole Normale Superierure, rue d'ULM. He was a visiting scientist at MIT during his Ph.D. thesis.