Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO of Red Hat made the announcement and gave a brief line of thanks for Steven’s years of service. In the interim, the office of the CTO will be managed by Paul Cormier, President of products and technologies at Red Hat.
On the surface there appears nothing untoward about the exit, other than the fact no-one at Red Hat saw it coming.
There have been some dark rumours that all is not well under the cappello rosso and some are saying that Stevens may have left because of friction between Stevens and Cormier. Stevens office had been moved out from underneath Cormier’s control and there might be some feuding going on.
Stevens, whose Red Hat page was taken down minutes after the news was released, had been with Red Hat since 2001. Before that he had been the CTO at Mission Critical Linux, and a senior architect at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), where he worked on Digital’s UNIX operating system. He is best known for his work on the X Window System, the foundation of UNIX and Linux graphic systems.
Stevens was often the public face of Red Hat and t Gigaom Structure on Red Hat and OpenStack. In April he laid out Red Hat’s future technology plans at Red Hat Summit.
He has been a key player in Red Hat’s march to the cloud. Red Hat was not among the early adopters of OpenStack when it got started in July 2010 and it was Stevens, who got the company involved. Today Red Hat is the top code contributor to OpenStack.