IBM: Don't Panic! We Won't Mess With Red Hat

On a joint conference call, senior IBM and Red Hat execs sought to reassure analysts, investors and customers that nothing will change at Red Hat after Big Blue completes its $34 billion takeover.

Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

October 29, 2018

2 Min Read
IBM: Don't Panic! We Won't Mess With Red Hat

Seeking to reassure investors, enterprise customers and the open-source community in general that nothing will change at Red Hat, senior IBM and Red Hat executives vowed today that Red Hat will continue to act independently even after Big Blue takes it over.

Speaking on a late-morning conference call, Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud at IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and Paul Cormier, executive vice president and president of Products and Technologies at Red Hat, swore up and down that Red Hat will operate as a distinct, independent unit within IBM's Hybrid Cloud business with the same freedom and flexibility that it enjoys today as its own company. They insisted that Red Hat will not change its focus, direction or management one bit after IBM closes the $34 billion deal, announced Sunday. (See IBM Buying Red Hat for $34B, Turning Cloud Upside Down and Is IBM Overpaying for Red Hat?)

"The day after we close, I don't intend to do anything differently," Cormier declared. "For us, it's business as usual."

Krishna seconded the notion. "I have no intention of interfering with Paul and Jim [Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst] on their roadmap," he said. "There is no value-add in trying to change that."

Cormier said the biggest change for Red Hat is that it will gain much greater customer reach through IBM's sales channels in 170 countries around the world. "We're still a relatively small company," he said. As things stand now, he noted, "we can't ramp up to the fill potential of that [customer] demand."

Calling the deal a "game-changer," Krishna all but promised that IBM will never drop the Red Hat name. "So Red Hat as a brand is going to keep going for as long as I can foresee," he said. He also said he "sees no reason" for any of Red Hat's locations to change.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Alan Breznick

Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

Alan Breznick is a business editor and research analyst who has tracked the cable, broadband and video markets like an over-bred bloodhound for more than 20 years.

As a senior analyst at Light Reading's research arm, Heavy Reading, for six years, Alan authored numerous reports, columns, white papers and case studies, moderated dozens of webinars, and organized and hosted more than 15 -- count 'em --regional conferences on cable, broadband and IPTV technology topics. And all this while maintaining a summer job as an ostrich wrangler.

Before that, he was the founding editor of Light Reading Cable, transforming a monthly newsletter into a daily website. Prior to joining Light Reading, Alan was a broadband analyst for Kinetic Strategies and a contributing analyst for One Touch Intelligence.

He is based in the Toronto area, though is New York born and bred. Just ask, and he will take you on a power-walking tour of Manhattan, pointing out the tourist hotspots and the places that make up his personal timeline: The bench where he smoked his first pipe; the alley where he won his first fist fight. That kind of thing.

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