Matthew Szulik: A Role Model

For those of you who do not pay attention to what’s going on in the world of technology, Matthew Szulik has stepped down as President and CEO of Red Hat to focus more on family health problems. He will still remain the Chairman of the Board.

I know Matt personally, through my parents. He got our family thinking of open source software when it wasn’t such a big thing. Our entire Eddie’s Energy Bars website is running on an open-source e-commerce program and an open-source content management system. I use an open-source program to upload files to my server. I love open-source. It makes things easier, cheaper, and you support the hard working men and women that have devoted their time and energy to creating a great piece of software.

Besides the fact that I adore open-source software, I look at Matt as an incredible role model to follow in how I would want to run my company and treat my employees. Matt wrote a letter here about his stepping down. I thought it was so moving, it prompted me to respond.

Matt is someone with incredible charisma and a passion for what he does. In a world that is dominated by Windows and Microsoft, Matt was (and still is) determined to show the world differently, and he has been incredibly successful at it. I compare this business to the energy bar world which is dominated by Clif Bars and Power Bars–but Eddie’s Energy Bars are making headway.

On a recent family trip to North Carolina, we stopped at the Szulik’s to spend the night. It just amazed me that Matt was walking around the house in a t-shirt and shorts with his New Balances on. He has always been a down to earth guy who wants to go see his son play his baseball game. Many CEO’s would be so busy they would only have time for work, work, work.  It was nice to see Matt had a nice balance of work and play; a big family man.

Realizing that work isn’t all there is to life, for he has a family in need to love and for that, Matt has chosen to step down as President and CEO of Red Hat.

I will forever look up to Matt Szulik as someone I aspire to be.  I hope I can run a large company with the same amount of passion and energy, while still keeping my own two feet on the ground.

From the entire crew at Eddie’s, Merry Christmas, Szulik family!

Michael
Eddie’s Energy Bars

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