No. 6 Matthew Szulik (CEO and President): Red Hat
On December 20, 2007, Matthew Szulik stepped down as CEO and president of Red Hat. This was a substantial loss to the open source leader since, in terms of performance in emerging technologies, few compare to Szulik. Red Hat is one of the top distributers of Linux, largely due to the passion of Szulik. Since joining Red Hat when they went public in 1999, he led the company to market leadership with greater than an 80% share of Linux sales worldwide and over 1000 employees . His abrupt resignation was due to personal reasons and commitment to family health. Although he is removed from the day-to-day operations, he will remain Chairman of the Board. Replaced by James Whitehurst, former Delta Chief Operating Officer, many are skeptical about Whitehurst’s industry knowledge and strategic approach, doubting it will be sufficient to continue the success of the champion of open source.