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ZDNet: Vision Series: Taking Red Hat beyond geek chic

Feb 05, 2002, 01:25 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert Lemos)
Two months after settling in as CEO in November 1999, Matt Szulik watched Red Hat's stock price begin a free fall that would unnerve investors, drive away disillusioned employees, and raise questions about the company's very existence.

Critics of Linux --an operating system created by volunteer programmers and licensed for free--said it couldn't create a profitable business as Red Hat had promised. But Szulik made a full-court press on Wall Street and successfully hurried through a secondary offering that left the company's coffers flush.

"The $300 million in the bank on the balance sheet was key," said Peter von Schilling, a senior analyst at Merrill Lynch. "It removed any kind of doubt that Red Hat is sustainable."

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