Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst in conversation with Nexus Venture Partners’ Naren Gupta at a ‘not-to-be-missed’ event in Bengaluru on October 15, 2019
Earlier this year, IBM acquired Open Source heavyweight Red Hat for a landmark $34 billion in the largest software acquisition in history. According to Red Hat Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jim Whitehurst, it was an ‘opportunity to bring more open source innovation to an even broader range of organizations.’ A strong advocate of how open source fosters innovation and is disrupting the world of traditional proprietary software, Jim believes it is important to open up all non-proprietary data and technology.
Jim’s leadership journey began as a Partner at Boston Consulting Group, following which he took over as Chief Operating Officer at Delta Air Lines. Jim took over as CEO of Red Hat in 2009. Borrowing from the open source principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration, Jim says, “the blueprint for success in any organization includes engagement, rewarding meritocracy, and healthy debate”. In his book, The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance, he writes about the transformative effects of openness in an organization at the deepest and highest levels. He describes the open organization as “an organization that engages participative communities both inside and out—responds to opportunities more quickly, has access to resources and talent outside the organization, and inspires, motivates, and empowers people at all levels to act with accountability.”
Jim was named one of the World’s Best CEOs by Barron’s in 2018. Under his leadership, Red Hat’s stock price grew 900 percent, with revenues growing to over $3 billion in 2018. The company was part of the Forbes’ World’s Most Innovative Companies list in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Red Hat has been a technology and business model innovator throughout its 25-year history.
Jim and Naren Gupta, Co-founder and Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners and Chairman of the Board at Red Hat, have worked closely for more than 10 years. Naren is a seasoned technology entrepreneur and leader and an experienced early-stage investor. He was the co-founder of Integrated Systems and its CEO for 15 years, where he led the company to a leadership position in embedded software and a storied public offering.
Nexus Venture Partners is a leading India-focused venture capital firm with $1.5 billion under management focused on enterprise technology and consumer Internet. Nexus is an early backer of several notable companies, including Snapdeal, Delhivery, Pubmatic, Olx, Sedemac, Gluster, Druva, Eka, Postman, Unacademy, Paysense, Turtlemint, Cloud.com, Jumbotail, Joveo, Observe.AI, Pratilipi, Rapido, Zolo, Postman, H2O.ai, Hasura, Rancher Labs, Kaltura and Minio.
Watch Jim and Naren in a candid conversation in Bengaluru on October 15, 2019, where they will discuss what it takes to win; and the importance of company culture, organization structure and processes, as a startup evolves into a market leader, and ultimately an impact-making global company. They will discuss their shared belief in Open Source Software as a key requirement for business innovation in the future; the principles behind an open organization; and Red Hat’s journey that culminated in one of the biggest software acquisitions in history.