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Editor’s note: Today, we announced the close of Red Hat's acquisition by IBM. Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat’s president and CEO, shared the following email with all of our associates around the world. For additional information, here is his original blog post at the time of the initial announcement.

Acquisition officially closes; Red Hat is still Red Hat

Last October, we announced our intention to join forces with IBM, with the aim of becoming the world’s top hybrid cloud provider. Since then, the promise IBM chairman, president, and CEO Ginni Rometty and I made has not changed. In fact, our commitment to that vision has grown - Red Hat will remain a distinct unit in IBM as we work to help customers deliver any app, anywhere, realizing the true value of the hybrid cloud. This morning, we can share that the most significant tech acquisition of 2019 has officially closed and we can now begin moving forward. 

We will be hosting an all-hands company meeting today (Tuesday, July 9) where you will hear from me, Ginni, Paul Cormier and IBM senior vice president of Cloud and Cognitive Software, Arvind Krishna. Details on logistics to follow; I hope you will join us. 

Since we announced the acquisition, I’ve been having conversations with our customers, partners, open source community members and more Red Hatters than I can count (I’ve been following memo-list as well!). What struck me most from those conversations was the passion. It’s passion not just for a company, but for what we do and how we do it—the open source way. That’s not going to change. 

We’ve been working closely with the IBM leadership team to determine how we can accomplish the goal of becoming the leading hybrid cloud provider and offering our customers a new level of access to open source technology and tools. We aim to do this all while maintaining what has made Red Hat successful. Ginni joined us on stage at Red Hat Summit in May to reiterate that she understands, values and supports our unwavering commitment to open source. That will remain unaltered and we will continue to offer the choice and flexibility businesses have come to expect from us. 

You’ve heard me say this before, but it bears repeating, Red Hat is still Red Hat. IBM is committed to preserving Red Hat’s independence, neutrality, culture and industry partnerships.

I know you want to know what this means for you and it’s pretty straightforward. Our mission, our culture, our ‘community first’ commitment, our product portfolio, our leadership team, our day-to-day operations, our brand and our soul are going to remain the same. Our unwavering commitment to open source—and all that it takes to bring it into the enterprise—is what makes us Red Hat. That is not changing.

While there are still details to figure out, what I hope you focus on is the opportunity that lies ahead of us. With IBM’s expertise and resources, we will be able to scale and accelerate our efforts and bring Red Hat to an even wider audience. This will benefit Red Hat, IBM, our customers, partners and the open source community as a whole. 

If Red Hat is still Red Hat, and so much is not changing, what are the specific ways I could see us working together to scale and accelerate Red Hat?

  • Red Hat operates in more than 40 countries; IBM operates in more than 175 countries. We’ll be exploring how to expand the availability of Red Hat’s portfolio in more places. Imagine the potential for more open source in every corner of the world.

  • An overwhelming majority of enterprises (84%) have a multicloud strategy. Linux is the innovation engine for hybrid cloud, containers and Kubernetes are its killer technologies, and Red Hat is a leading enterprise provider in these areas. Imagine putting even more resources into the upstream communities that are driving innovation and making them enterprise-grade, all while delivering the best developer experience.

  • Red Hat offers the industry’s only true open hybrid cloud and inherent to that is customer choice. IBM will be working to optimize its technologies for our portfolio and to enable customers to use them where Red Hat runs—including multiple public clouds. Combined with our own offerings and services and those from our already robust ecosystem, our goal is to offer customers the broadest choice as they create modern applications. Imagine customers having the flexibility to create any app using their choice of technology and running it anywhere on a common foundation that eases manageability and security.

  • Open source is a force for good and the opportunity ahead is significant. By 2023, estimates show that an additional 600,000+ people are expected to work in Red Hat-related jobs alone according to an IDC report sponsored by Red Hat. We want that workforce to include people from diverse backgrounds, which is why we champion programs like CO.LAB to introduce middle school girls to the principles of open source and collaboration and have programs like Red Hat Academy to develop critical skillsets. IBM has been a powerful force in STEM and its broad efforts to give back to communities around the world. Imagine an opportunity for us to be able to do even more together to inspire the next generation. Our aim is not only to be the best hybrid cloud company but to also be the best company for the world.

Over the coming weeks and months, these are the types of things we’ll be exploring with IBM, and we’ll keep you posted as there are updates and plans to share. In the meantime, I ask that you stay engaged and involved, and take advantage of the resources we’ll be sharing with you. 

I want to thank all Red Hatters, our customers, partners, and the community for your feedback, support, commitment and passion for open source and Red Hat. You are what makes Red Hat so unique. Let’s bring this same energy into our next chapter. 




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