Winning: Q&A with Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat CEO
When Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said in 2008 he planned to get the company to $1bn in annual sales by 2011, up from $500m at the time, there were those who scoffed. But as the open source vendor just closed its fourth quarter with sales of $244.8m, up 25%, it's almost certain he will achieve his ambition, even if the firm's first billion-dollar year will actually be its fiscal 2012, not 2011. Who's counting?
As Whitehurst said at the time of the recent earnings announcement: "With record bookings and billings in the fourth quarter, we are on a run rate to become the first pure-play open source company to achieve a billion dollars in revenues next fiscal year, a milestone achievement for Red Hat and the open source community."
As well as the revenue milestone, Red Hat's profitability has enabled it to squirrel away over a billion dollars in cash and other investments, while its market capitalisation on Nasdaq has soared to over $8.7bn. The firm has proven that it is possible for an open source company not just to survive, but to thrive.
CBR caught up with Whitehurst in London recently. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation, but see below for a link to the entire podcast interview.