"Talk about bad timing. During an interview earlier this month,
Red Hat CEO Matthew J. Szulik told me that the company needed to
keep top managers on board--or it would have a tough time competing
with rivals like Sun and Microsoft. Less than a week after the
talk, CFO Hal Covert walked out the door to join SGI. Investors
panicked and dumped Red Hat shares."
"Take a look at Red Hat's July 17 SEC filing (I certainly did),
and you'll find that the panic was justified."
"According to the filing, Red Hat's "future success depends
on the continued services of a number of key directors and
officers," including Covert, among others."
"Red Hat has since downplayed Covert's departure. And CEO Szulik
genuinely impressed me during our chat. In the interview, Szulik
predicted that Red Hat would start generating profits by calendar
year 2001. It will take a savvy CFO, however, for Red Hat to make
good on that prediction."
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