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We are delighted to welcome Jennifer "Jen" Dudeck as senior vice president and chief people officer. In her new role, Jen will be responsible for leading Red Hat’s People team, which is focused on attracting, developing and rewarding associates around the world.

Prior to joining Red Hat, Jen served as vice president of the Transformation Office at Cisco Systems, Inc. and held several business-aligned HR roles at the Honeywell Corporation, within the Aerospace and Performance Materials business units. 

Jen brings more than 25 years of experience to Red Hat, and we caught up with her to find out more about the insights and perspectives she will be bringing to her role as chief people officer.

Why did you choose to join Red Hat?

I knew Red Hat was the right next step for me because of the company’s culture and values. The values of courage, commitment, freedom and accountability are integral to my leadership philosophy. Anyone who has worked with me knows that I’m also not a hierarchical person. I believe in open and transparent dialogue. I believe that everyone can be a leader, and that we’re more likely to reach innovative solutions when we engage across the full spectrum of diversity. That’s one of the reasons I found Red Hat’s open culture, where we strive to include all voices and ensure the best idea emerges, so compelling. 

How do you see open source principles influencing your work as chief people officer?

The core of who we are as a company starts with being fluid and evolving. That’s the essence of open source: a community working across boundaries, accepting the best ideas no matter where they come from, to continually evolve. If the very core of our business is based on fluidity and evolution, we need to be able to do this as a People team. So fostering this evolution, while we still preserve the key aspects of our culture that power innovation, is incredibly relevant in my new role—this approach is actually relevant to any organizational leader. The one constant in life and business is change, but in my view, open source principles give us tools to turn change into opportunity.

How will you look to leverage your wealth of experience with leadership and career development at Red Hat?

This is a great question. First, I don’t think there has ever been a more exciting time to be a Red Hatter. We are growing, and we are adding new Red Hatters, including many who are early in their careers. I’ve always been focused on helping associates think differently about their careers, in a way that fosters inclusion, in a way that allows individuals to have greater insights early in their careers. This sets associates up to make choices that are more personal and based on what individuals are passionate about and energized by. When we’re able to align passion and energy with the company’s needs and priorities—and I know from experience that we can do it through great performance and development—we can power increased engagement and drive better business results. Creating that virtuous cycle, where engaged associates can see and feel their impact growing and driving the company forward, is something that I’m passionate about continuing to do at Red Hat.