“[Layoffs are] a healthy thing that you have to do every once in awhile to make sure you’re putting investment in the right areas that are going to help you keep being successful with customers,” Red Hat CEO Matt Hicks tells CRN.

By Mark Haranas

Red Hat CEO Matt Hicks sat down with CRN to discuss the company’s recent layoff round, whether any more pieces of Red Hat will be absorbed by IBM, and avoiding cloud lock-ins when it comes to Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud strategy.

Hicks became president and CEO of Red Hat in July and is approaching his eighteenth year with the Raleigh, N.C.-based open-source software superstar.

“When I started [in the CEO role], the thing I really wanted to correct is: know why we’re here, known what we do, be excited about what we do,” Hicks told CRN. “We can’t chase every single battle challenge in technology that’s out there. We’ve got to be laser-focused on that.”

Before jumping into what Hicks had to say about Red Hat laying off about 800 employees and IBM becoming “more comfortable” with open source, it is key to note that the 2023 Red Hat Summit is wrapping up today in Boston with an estimated 5,000 people in attendance.

[Related: Red Hat CEO: Partners Have ‘A Ton Of Value-Add’ Around AI]

Red Hat Summit 2023

Thousands of partners, developers and customers flocked to the Boston Convention Center this week for Red Hat Summit 2023 where the company unveiled a slew of new innovations.

Some of Red Hat’s biggest product announcements at the conference include Ansible Lightspeed with IBM Watson Code Assistant, a new generative artificial intelligence (AI) service for Red Hat’s Ansible automation offering. Red Hat also unveiled a new Developer Hub portal that will provide curated tools, languages and resources to boost applications and reduce friction across environments such as Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift.

“Red Hat is really focused on RHEL, Ansible and OpenShift, and consolidating what they’re going to market with, which is helping us focus on where we invest resources,” said Andrew Tenaglia, vice president of app modernization at Red Hat partner Converge Technology Solutions. “We’re seeing more investment from them and have more recourses to help us have these co-created solutions with them around the automation stack.”

In an interview with CRN, CEO Hicks talks about Red Hat’s recent layoffs, whether IBM will absorb any other Red Hat businesses as it did with storage last year, where Red Hat plays in AI, and the company’s market differentiation when it comes to open cloud computing technologies.

Click here to keep reading at CRN.

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