Red Hat CEO Matt Hicks is said to have told employees in an email "we will not reduce roles directly selling to customers or building our products," which means many upstream Linux developers that build Red Hat Enterprise Linux and associated software products should be safe.
Red Hat will begin notifying affected employees today in some countries while the process will continue through the end of the quarter. IBM, which acquired Red Hat in 2019, has already slashed some five thousand positions so far in 2023.
Hicks said the decision to lay off hundreds of employees is “appropriate to ensure Red Hat’s ability to compete in a new environment.” We must continue to sharpen our focus and do fewer things better. This will be difficult for all of us; there is no way around that.”
His reasoning for the staff cuts seems a bit off. In an interview witn CRN he praises his staff and says it is important for Red Hat to take advantage of new opportunities in open hybrid cloud due to the evolution of public cloud and edge computing. This is the same speech you use when you are talking about an expansion rather than staff lay offs.
He told Red Hat employees who are remaining with the company that they must sharpen their focus and do “fewer things better.”
“Our ways of operating must evolve—there will be a required change in the work we all do. We must be willing to engage and learn the intersections between our teams and to manage them more directly, with fewer layers of interface,” Red Hat’s CEO said. “This is not work we can delegate to others; instead, we must put our energy into simplifying our structure.”
Red Hat’s structural change needs to be accompanied by a “cultural change as well. We must choose to work and prioritise differently, or we will simply recreate the challenges that got us here,” said Hicks.
Of course it might be just because the parent company IBM has made a layoffs and expects its underlings to follow suit, but that would not be simplifying any structures, just laying off staff for the sake of it. Red Hat sales surged nearly 20 per cent last year.