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The Standard: 10 to Watch: Bob Young

Jan 19, 2000, 15:53 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Alex Lash)

"If 1999 was the year of Red Hat's honeymoon, then watch for flying pots and pans in 2000. Led by the ever-grinning visage of Chairman Bob Young, Linux distributor Red Hat had a yearlong free ride in the press, and investors responded in kind. The day of its August IPO, the stock tripled. On the day before Christmas, the company had a market cap of $15 billion in its stocking. All this for a company that repackages a free operating system with a few other pieces of software."

"Give Young much of the credit. A former computer hardware salesman in Toronto, he stumbled on the Linux movement in the early 1990s and began to think of ways to turn the hackers' delight into a business. Now 45, the Hamilton, Ontario, native is getting closer, although there are dozens of versions of Linux on the market. Anyone can download it; anyone can make improvements; anyone can sell it for $20 or for less...."

"Our big-picture model is not to convince 400 million PC users to unplug Windows or Mac OS and install Red Hat Linux," says Young. "It's to help build appliances for the other 6 billion people who don't want to own a PC."

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