Red Hat Chief Jim Whitehurst: Open Source Is Spurring Innovation

Richard Saintvilus | TheStreet | December 19, 2014

Customers around the world are changing their perceptions about open-source technology, making it more mainstream, and open source is driving innovation at enterprise and cloud services giant Red Hat (RHT) , according to its president and chief executive Jim Whitehurst.  Red Hat, the world's largest provider of open-source solutions, reported fiscal third-quarter results Thursday that topped Wall Street's revenue and profit estimates, sending its shares up more than 9% in after-hours trading. In an interview after earnings were released, Whitehurst discussed Red Hat's performance and outlined how the company plans to stay ahead of the competition in its core markets.

This quarter marked Red Hat's 11th-consecutive quarter of mid-to-high teens revenue growth, an impressive performance considering how tight chief information officers have been in terms of corporate spending this year.  When asked whether he feels pressure to keep the streak going, Whitehurst said that he never worries about just one quarter.  Instead, he said the focus on how to best position Red Had to dominate its core market for the next three to five years.

The fact that open source is becoming more widely accepted is important because Red Hat is placing huge bets on OpenStack, a much younger part of its business than its Linux segment. The goal of OpenStack is to bring to market scalable cloud solutions that are feature-rich, yet easy to implement.  Whitehurst isn't too concerned about the growing competitive environment with rivals such as VMware (VMW) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) , which recently bought Eucalyptus...