back to article IBM President and former Red Hat boss Jim Whitehurst quits

Former president and CEO of Red Hat, Jim Whitehurst, is quitting the biz less than two years after rocking up at Big Blue, the hard-pressed business claimed today. "Our hybrid cloud and AI strategy is strongly resonating with clients," intoned CEO Arvind Krishna in a blog post. Maybe not so much for Whitehurst, it appears, as …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't help but think Whitehurst has generally played a financial blinder here. He sold up Red Hat for a mega-premium before the hyperscale clouds could eat Red Hat's lunch, and he's hung around just long enough in Big Blue to see out his lockup and make sure the company wasn't just immediately turned into another Watson bag of hammers.

  2. HildyJ Silver badge

    Titanic news

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Titanic news??

      There's nothing to see here. The heads of pretty much every IBM acquisition quit as soon as financially reasonable, because they can't bear to see the IBMization of their creation. Happens every time. Doesn't mean the ship is sinking faster than yesterday.

    2. BillG

      re: Titanic news

      It's not the rats that are the first to desert a sinking ship, it's the best swimmers.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let me see...

    Redhat and its "cloud" model was going to revolutionise and save IBM.

    IBM can't even migrate its own email systems to IBM's cloud.

    No one is surprised by ex-redhat resignations or steep dive in share price!

  4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Other Than...

    Other than Red Hat I cannot think of an Itsy Bitsy Moron product I would even consider. This is a problem for them as they end up being somewhere well down the list.

  5. Michael Hoffmann


    From the article "We assume that discussions regarding his departure were not conducted over IBM's iffy email system. Presumably messages were exchanged via intern or fax machine."

    That burn was to vicious, I think some of the pixels on my screen melted.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ouch!

      That burn was so hot I got an instant sun-tan just from reading it.

      Its probably true though (which makes it even funnier).

    2. EricB123 Bronze badge

      Re: Ouch!

      My Selectric's sans serif font ball now types only in courier.

      1. TimMaher Silver badge

        Re: Only in courier.

        That’s it! They used a courier.

        Does you Selectric have double de-bounce with negative rollover?

    3. Ozan

      Re: Ouch!

      Onlything hotter burn was theone from Street Fighter movie.

      Also, RIP Raul Julia.

  6. Alistair


    Um, Paul? Helllllooooo Paul?

    Please ensure your ducks are aligned linearly and your contract has been reviewed by a decent lawyer, I'm suspecting you may want one on call.....

  7. Denarius Silver badge

    end of day and era

    And as the Sun slowly sets on the sad scene of dead and dying IT firms, the first big Open Source company vanishes in a sea of blue. Blue staff, blue users and red ink

  8. John Savard


    Surely he isn't entitled to a retention bonus if he quits! So if he did get it, that would be reason for IBM's stock to drop another point or so, since the firm is obviously no longer competent to write a proper contract.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Words

      "Whitehurst was also to be paid up to $6m in a cash retention payment, and got the first installment in July 2020. The second was due this month and the third in July 2022."

      So assuming IBM made the criteria defined in Jim's contract, he'll likely have received 2 instalments. He won't (or shouldn't) receive the third.


  9. beep54


    Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Goodye Reformers, Hello Counter-revolution

    Whitehurst was actually making some headway on culture change but the internal reaction, amongst those of us who saw this as the best thing since sliced bread or at least since our companies were acquired by IBM and our cultures extinguished along with most of the acquisition value, is that this Prague Spring is over and Krishna has sent in the traditionalist tanks to crush openness, innovation and the chinks of positive risk taking that has started to appear in dark corners.

    The message is clear - one better line up behind an executive patron, CYA and toe the line or else the way forward is the exit door.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Goodye Reformers, Hello Counter-revolution

      I do not see it like that. Culture reformation has been largely absent, there have been no meaningful shifts in any direction. Welcome to the New IBM Culture, same as the Old IBM Culture.

      A major reason for Jim departing is likely that he cannot make any meaningful change; he has probably been banging his head against the (blue) wall for the last two years and has now decided it's not worth the headache.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Goodye Reformers, Hello Counter-revolution

      There were those of us who really, truly hoped a culture change was coming. We didn't think it would, but we hoped.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Goodye Reformers, Hello Counter-revolution

        You mean back to the pre-2002 culture?

    3. Alpine_Hermit

      Re: Goodye Reformers, Hello Counter-revolution

      It was inevitable after the Red Fedora was taken over by




  11. RM Myers

    Our hybrid cloud and AI strategy is strongly resonating with clients

    Will the results of this resonation be similar to what happened to the Tacoma Narrows bridge in 1940?

  12. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    I didn't think that he'd stay this long

    After IBM gobbled up RedHat. He did a pretty good job at RH but IBM is a totally different kettle of fish. IMHO, it (IBM) is just about unmanageable.

  13. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Our hybrid cloud and AI strategy is strongly resonating with clients

    And like tinnitus, they'll do almost anything to get away from it.

  14. GreyWolf

    Anyone taking bets on where he is going?

    Rocky and Alma, two of the Centos forks, will each need a CEO who understands the biz....

    Now that he's been paid, there's no need to stay at Incessant Boring Meetings...

  15. IGotOut Silver badge

    Resonates with our customers...

    ... In the same way brown noise does.

  16. Dildo

    They replace Jim with a failed IBMer , Tom R is absolutely useless muppet

  17. cjcox

    Another possibility?

    At IBM, how those outside of IBM perceive them is everything.

    The CentOS takeover and destruction, while it might not seem like a "big deal", was sort of a black eye to IBM reputation wise.

    "Thou shall not do that."

    Have a feeling this wasn't a simple "step down" by Whitehurst.

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