Red Hat, the leading seller of the Linux operating system, on Thursday named Chief Executive Matthew Szulik chairman of the board of directors. Szulik replaces Bob Young, a Red Hat founder, who will continue to serve as a board member.
"Matthew's enhanced leadership position as CEO and chairman will enable Red Hat to improve its customer service and product offerings even faster and increase the speed of Linux adoption in the enterprise," Young said in a statement.
Szulik, 45, has made a quick ascent at Red Hat. He started with the company in November 1998 as president, and was promoted to CEO a year later.
Szulik faces the challenge of turning Linux, an open-source operating system that is licensed for free, into a profitable business--a task all the more daunting given that it competes with Microsoft's dominant Windows operating system. Szulik is known for his strongly held vision for Linux, sometimes described as "high-tech socialism." He has also given Red Hat some two-dozen ways to make money from Linux, including support services and systems integration. --Tiffany Kary, Special to ZDNet News