The Standard: 10 to Watch: Bob Young

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.”