Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst will receive the William C. Friday Award next week in a ceremony at the Hunt Library. The award, given annually by the Park Scholars, recognizes excellence in leadership, scholarship, character and service. The event, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, is open to the public.
Whitehurst is an advocate for open software as a catalyst for business innovation. With a background in business development, finance and global operations, he has helped companies flourish, even in the most challenging economic and business environments.
Since joining Red Hat in 2008, he has more than doubled the company’s revenue. Under his leadership, Red Hat joined the Standard and Poor’s 500 stock index in 2009, ranked fourth on Forbes’ list of “The World’s Most Innovative Companies” in 2012 and was named by Glassdoor as one of the best places to work in 2014.
During his six years at Delta Air Lines, he drove significant international expansion and, as chief operating officer, oversaw all aspects of airline operations—from sales to strategy. At the Boston Consulting Group, where he began his career in 1989, he held several corporate development leadership roles.
The award is named for educator William C. Friday, former president of the UNC system, who died in 2012.