No-one among the rank and file at Red Hat seem to have seen this coming. In a move the Linux giant's staffers said was "shocking" and a "punch in the gut," long-time Red Hat chief technology officer Brian Stevens has resigned.
In the same release, Red Hat's president and chief executive Jim Whitehurst said, "We want to thank Brian for his years of service and numerous contributions to Red Hat’s business. We wish him well in his future endeavors."
Until Red Hat picks a new CTO, his office will be managed by Red Hat's president of products and technologies Paul Cormier.
Officially, Red Hat has nothing more to say about the matter.
But some Red Hat employees speculated that Stevens may have left because of friction between Stevens and Cormier. They observed that CTO office had been moved out from underneath Cormier's control some time back. However, no one said that was any kind of current feud that might have lead to this move.
Others suggested that perhaps Stevens wanted to move up to a CEO slot and that would never happen within the company.
Stevens, whose Red Hat page was taken down minutes after the news was released, had been with Red Hat since 2001. Before that he had been the CTO at Mission Critical Linux, and a senior architect at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), where he worked on Digital's UNIX operating system. Today it lives on as HP's Tru64. In technical circles, he's perhaps best known for his work on the X Window System, the foundation of Unix and Linux graphic systems.