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Since joining Red Hat in 2018, Stefanie Chiras has not only proven to be a critical leader behind Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud strategy but also a championing voice for Linux innovation in the industry. In her most recent role as senior vice president of the Red Hat Platforms Business Group, she was responsible for defining, building and executing a strategy spanning Red Hat’s product portfolio to transform deployments from the datacenter to the edge. Her team has been instrumental in establishing engineering collaborations and partnerships with leading Red Hat partners such as Microsoft, SAP, Nutanix and many more.

Now, Stefanie is transitioning to a new role as senior vice president of Partner Ecosystem Success. In this role, Stefanie will lead Red Hat’s global partner ecosystem to help drive partner sales and innovation with Red Hat’s full product portfolio and jointly deliver value to customers.

As we welcome Stefanie to her new role, we would also like to share that Mark Enzweiler will be retiring as senior vice president of Global Partners and Alliances at the end of this year. In his 15 years at Red Hat, Mark has honed our global partner strategy by introducing key initiatives such as Red Hat’s renewals enablement program for channel partners and has been a strong and leading advocate for partner success. Stay tuned for a Q&A with Mark to learn more about his extensive contributions to building and growing Red Hat’s partner ecosystem. 

Read on for a brief Q&A with Stefanie about her experiences and vision for the Red Hat partner ecosystem. 

What led you to a career in technology and open source?

As a student studying mechanical engineering, I had the opportunity to work at NASA in the materials engineering program for the summer. We worked in an airplane hangar that had been converted into a lab where we spent our time breaking apart sample materials and studying how they fractured. It was an incredibly collaborative environment with fellow tech enthusiasts who loved sharing ideas and fueling one another’s innovation. 

These early steps in my career taught me the value of collaboration and how a culture rooted in openness where everyone is free to contribute and express new ideas - can lead to real results and drive innovative solutions. I think this early exposure and appreciation for open collaboration is what ultimately drove me into a career centered on open source, and finally to Red Hat the epicenter of open source technology and open culture. I first fell in love with Linux, how it redefined the technology industry and introduced an era of open innovation on an enterprise level. 

I got involved in the Linux space while at IBM as part of the Power Systems team, and since then I've remained fascinated by the immense value that Linux brings to the industry. Linux really has taught us how development is meant to be done, through open source and the heart of innovation unifying a community. I joined Red Hat in order to lead the Red Hat Enterprise Linux organization, working together with customers and partners on the successful definition, execution and delivery of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Linux is the language of the wider ecosystem, pulling together the best technologies and platforms from an extensive list of software providers and solutions. Our strategy is built on being able to consume Linux wherever and however you want it, and the commitment we have seen to Red Hat Enterprise Linux from our partner ecosystem has been phenomenal and is essential to create value. 

What is your vision for the Red Hat global partner ecosystem? 

Partners are core to Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud strategy. My goal is to execute a unified approach to how we support, enable and drive value for our partner ecosystem building upon the capabilities across the Red Hat product portfolio. This includes helping internal Red Hat teams engage with partners in new and meaningful ways, fostering opportunities for multi-partner collaboration and establishing clear paths for partner growth, whether partners are building, selling or offering services with Red Hat. Scaling the strength of our partner ecosystem is absolutely critical so that we continue to add value to the customer experience. 

In my previous role leading the Red Hat Platforms Business Group, my team focused on driving innovation with some of our leading partners across the full spectrum of Red Hat technologies to develop jointly engineered and supported solutions, all in alignment with our overarching hybrid cloud goals. Through this I learned that partners are the real drivers and multipliers for Red Hat in the market. With our partners, we are able to offer greater choice and flexibility for customers and make it easier for them to realize the benefits of hybrid cloud. 

How will you use your extensive leadership experience to further expand opportunities for Red Hat and our partners? 

One of my favorite aspects of Red Hat’s culture is the open source ethos that runs through our business and extends into every piece of technology, customer conversation and partner relationship. At Red Hat, we know that we can do more as a community than as individuals. As I embark on this new leadership role for partners, I intend to bring my technical and product experiences into the global ecosystem to help ensure we are working hand-in-hand with our partners from the building and product development stages all the way to go-to-market execution.

This community focus also extends to supporting our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. As part of my work at Red Hat I am the executive sponsor of our Women in Leadership Community. The work of this community is so meaningful because, at its very core, our goal is to make sure that we raise awareness and inspire everyone involved to find the space they need to make an impact in their roles. It is reassuring to know that striving for a diverse workforce leads to an increase in skills and experience, along with innovative and creative ideas. This translates directly into the results we see from our technology portfolio and in working with our partners. 

Looking ahead, I hope to lead our partner ecosystem into the future by leveraging Red Hat’s own internal resources and leading minds to better enable partners and establish new rules of engagement to fuel partner and customer success. From a technology perspective, automotive edge is a great example of how we work in conjunction with partners to meet a very specific market need. This industry requires a unique ecosystem and technical expertise, so partners are key for us to be successful in this space. Additionally, managed cloud services offer another tremendous opportunity for Red Hat and partners to better serve customers at every stage of their open hybrid cloud journey. 

This is an exciting time for Red Hat and our partners, and I am honored to help lead the next-generation of the Red Hat partner ecosystem. I truly believe there is no limit to what we can accomplish by working together. I look forward to channeling my leadership in product innovation and experiences with partners to redefine the future of open hybrid cloud.

About the author

Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.

Red Hat helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize on our industry-leading operating system, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments. Award-winning support, training, and consulting services make Red Hat a trusted adviser to the Fortune 500. As a strategic partner to cloud providers, system integrators, application vendors, customers, and open source communities, Red Hat can help organizations prepare for the digital future.

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