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Today, we are sharing news that Tim Yeaton, Red Hat’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer (CMO) will retire in 2022. We’ve had the benefit of planning for Tim’s retirement for some time and using Red Hat’s succession planning process to identify and develop our next CMO. Long time Red Hat marketing communications and brand leader Leigh Day has been promoted to senior vice president (SVP) of Marketing and in January, she will assume the role of CMO. Until his retirement in mid-2022, Tim will become a senior advisor at Red Hat, helping with a smooth transition. 

Tim has made a significant impact across Red Hat during two stints at Red Hat. From 2005 to 2007, Tim served as SVP of Worldwide Marketing and general manager of Enterprise Solutions, helping Red Hat break into the developer and middleware markets with acquisitions like JBoss and MetaMatrix, and building key go-to-market partnerships with companies like IBM, HP, Dell, and more. Tim left Red Hat in 2008 to hone his CMO chops at EqualLogic before its acquisition by Dell, and then served as CEO of Black Duck Software for several years. Tim returned to Red Hat in 2014 to lead our then newly-formed Infrastructure Group and ultimately became Red Hat’s CMO in 2017.

In a combined 10 years at Red Hat, Tim played a critical leadership role as we honed our open hybrid cloud strategy. Beyond his contributions to our product and go-to-market strategy, Tim’s legacy at Red Hat will be modernizing Red Hat Marketing - both in terms of becoming a data-driven organization, and also developing a Marketing organization capable of delivering on that vision.

Leigh, who currently leads Red Hat’s Brand Experience team, joined Red Hat in 1999. She is widely regarded for her boldness, creativity, and passion for Red Hat, and known for her ability to not only bring out the best in people and also to bring teams and marketing motions together to make a major impact. In her time at Red Hat, Leigh has held a wide variety of positions - from her earliest role creating an online advertising revenue stream to supplement our then boxed product business, to product management and product marketing for Red Hat Linux, to her leadership in building a world-class in-house marketing communications and brand function. 

From Red Hat Summit, Command Line Heroes and redhat.com, to Open Source Stories, Co.Lab, and so much more, Leigh has led teams responsible for simplifying, unifying and amplifying Red Hat’s unique messages and delivering repeatable experiences for customers and partners that show Red Hat at its best. She has led marketing for more than 20 acquisitions at Red Hat, helping to expand awareness of our portfolio as it has grown and evolved. 


Tim and Leigh, along with Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s president and CEO, added these statements on today’s announcement:

Tim Yeaton:

"My first interaction with Red Hat was as a strategic investor, back in 1999, and it was then that I developed my passion for the company and for open source. It has been an honor and a privilege to have been part of building Red Hat from a Linux only company back in 2005, into the hybrid cloud and open source innovation leader that it is today. Retiring from a company that you love and admire is never easy, but with Leigh Day becoming my successor to lead our extraordinary, world-class global market team, I know the time is right for the next stage of my life’s journey. And Leigh joins a tremendous corporate leadership under Paul Cormier, who has been a terrific CEO, and a close, cherished friend to me. Red Hat will continue to thrive well into the future, and it will never be far from my heart."

Leigh Day:

"It has been such a joy to be part of Red Hat and its amazing evolution into one of the world’s most trusted technology leaders. I could not be more excited to be part of the future of Red Hat marketing, always centered at putting customer experience first. I would also like to add my gratitude to Tim for his leadership and service to the company." 

Paul Cormier: 

"Marketing plays an important role at Red Hat - from our engagement with open source communities to bringing our products and services to market, all the way to our customers and partners. I’m grateful to Tim for the work he’s done to help establish Red Hat as an open hybrid cloud leader and to capitalize on our momentum.

"Leigh is deeply respected for her work to build a strong Red Hat brand. I can’t imagine anyone more qualified to lead the next chapter in Red Hat Marketing, and I’m excited to see where she helps take us next."


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.