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Today, we are sharing that Werner Knoblich, Red Hat’s senior vice president and general manager for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region has decided to retire from Red Hat at the end of 2021. IT industry leader and Red Hatter Hans Roth, who is currently senior vice president and general manager of Global Services and Technical Enablement, will succeed him in the role beginning in January.

Knoblich has been a strong and passionate advocate for our customers and Red Hatters throughout his tenure. His mantra, ‘know your culture first, then build your employee engagement into it,’ has consistently been at the heart of his leadership style in addition to a deep commitment to open source ways of working to create a highly engaged and results-driven team. 

He joined Red Hat in 2003 when there were approximately 600 associates worldwide and fewer than 100 associates in EMEA, and was focused on bringing open source technologies, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, to the enterprise. Knoblich’s tenure saw strong growth in the EMEA business, including Red Hat’s expansion into 16 new EMEA countries. He helped Red Hat develop a strong partner ecosystem in the region, scaling the business from a mainly direct sales model to a highly partner-leveraged and influenced business. 

Roth, who currently leads Red Hat’s global consulting and training services organization, previously oversaw the Services business in EMEA. Since joining Red Hat in 2016, he has focused on working closely with customers to make IT transformation a reality and open source their competitive advantage. Programs such as Red Hat Open Innovation Labs, our award-winning immersive residency-oriented labs, help customers jumpstart innovation and software development initiatives, and bring together the technologies, people and methods customers need to meet IT and business challenges.

He has more than 20 years of experience in empowering customers, partners and communities to create value through cultural and business transformation. He has been a leader in business process management, IT strategy, system integration, strategic outsourcing, managing large, complex and multinational teams during his two decades in the IT industry. 

Roth will be focused on developing and executing the company’s business strategy across EMEA including commercial, enterprise and channel sales, professional service, telecommunications, media and entertainment,consulting and training services, marketing, legal and people team functions. 


Knoblich and Roth added these statements on today’s announcement:

Werner Koblich

“After 18 years with Red Hat, during which time I’ve been on the front lines as the company scaled from a start-up to the leader in open source and a hybrid cloud innovator, it is not easy to step away. I am so proud to have played a role in its success and helping drive its expansion in EMEA.I look forward to watching the next chapter of Red Hat’s story and seeing what Hans and the rest of the EMEA team are able to accomplish.”

Hans Roth

“I started working in technology around the same time that Red Hat was founded. At the time Red Hat was the disruptor, breaking the established business models and democratising technology. It’s been exciting to be a part of Red Hat’s evolution to a leader in the enterprise over the last few years and even more exciting to see the opportunity in front of us. Technologies like cloud computing, containers, edge and AI/ML are transforming how organizations are doing business and open source is what makes it possible. I’m humbled and ready to take on this new challenge and help drive Red Hat forward in EMEA alongside our customers and partners.”


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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.

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