Upside: Red Hat CEO still betting on the long shot

“…Probably perfect, then, that its CEO comes with a strong
marketing background. All the better to stay unfrazzled as
investors alternately praise it as the next Microsoft (MSFT) or
dump its stock as though it were a candidate for delistment.”

“Red Hat isn’t Microsoft, though — nor is it flirting with
stock market demise. After reaching a high of $300 a share before
splitting 2-for-1, Red Hat is trading in the teens. It has yet to
turn a profit. It hasn’t had a chief financial officer since Hal
Covert left for Silicon Graphics (SGI ) in July. And with revenue
expected to run about $84 million for the year, its market
capitalization of $1.7 billion has always seemed, well, sky

But what the company is trying to do — make the open
source Linux operating system an industry standard rather than a
hacker’s fantasy operating system — fuels a kind of romantic aura
that hard data doesn’t stand a chance of defusing. Not to mention
the whole knocking-Microsoft-off-its-perch thing.


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