Red Hat appoints new CFO

Red Hat, the world's largest distributor of Linux, has sent what its CEO Matthew Szulik calls "a very strong message to investors and customers" by appointing Charles E. Peters Jr. as its new chief financial officer to replace Kevin Thompson.

Peters most recently served as CFO of Burlington Industries.

"Charlie is a seasoned professional with a unique depth and breadth of experience in international finance and publicly traded companies that will help lead Red Hat's next phase of growth," said Szulik on Peters, adding he would be assuming the CFO post at Red Hat "effective immediately."

The announcement, made Thursday morning, is aimed at halting the run on Red Hat stock from a June 2, 52-week high of US$29.06 to just US$12.55 at the close of business Wednesday.

Peters, who will be paid US$275,000 per year with a "target bonus" of US$200,000 a year plus a relocation bonus of "at least US$50,000" - all according to the relevant SEC filings - said: "Red Hat and open source will continue to make a global impact on how enterprises consume software. This is an outstanding opportunity. I am pleased to be part of the Red Hat management team and look forward to helping to lead the organization in realizing its market potential."

He has worked previously with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, GenRad and Boston Edison Co.

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