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Executive leadership team

James Whitehurst

President and chief executive officer

Jim Whitehurst


Jim Whitehurst is president and chief executive officer of Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source enterprise IT software solutions and services. Whitehurst is an avid advocate for open software as a catalyst for business innovation. With a background in business development, finance, and global operations, Whitehurst has proven expertise in helping companies flourish—even in the most challenging economic and business environments.

Whitehurst has grown Red Hat and its influence on a variety of industries, by reaching key milestones—the most notable in 2012 when Red Hat became the first $1 billion revenue open source software company. Since joining Red Hat, Whitehurst has grown revenue from more than $500 million at the end of February 2008, to almost $3 billion for the company's 2018 fiscal year. Under his leadership, Red Hat was named to Forbes’ list of “The World’s Most Innovative Companies” in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2012; named to Fortune’s list of the Most Admired Companies for 2018; added to Standard and Poor’s (S&P) 500 stock index in 2009; named one of the best places to work by Glassdoor in 2016, 2014, and 2013; named to the first-ever Fortune Future 50 list in 2017; and added to the Forbes’ Global 2000 list in 2017. In addition, in 2018 Whitehurst was named one of the World’s Best CEOs by Barron’s.

In June 2015, Whitehurst published a book with Harvard Business Review Press entitled "The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance" showing how open principles of management—based on transparency, participation, and community—can help organizations navigate and succeed in a fast-paced connected era. To date, the book has sold more than 42,000 copies; been featured in more than 130 press articles including articles from Fortune, Forbes, and Fast Company; and named one of the top 10 creative leadership books of 2015 in Forbes.

During his six-years at Delta Air Lines, Whitehurst drove significant international expansion and as Chief Operating Officer, oversaw all aspects of airline operations—from sales to strategy. At The Boston Consulting Group, where he began his career in 1989, he held several corporate development leadership roles, working in the Chicago, Hong Kong and Shanghai offices, and as a partner in the Atlanta office with numerous clients across a wide range of industries.

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Open more than the source

Our software's source code is open, but what about our organization? Transparency in our company goes all the way to the top. In fact, our CEO wrote the book on it.

Learn about the book