Red Hat Fires CFO Over Workplace Standards

Eric Shander, who had been with the software firm since 2015, helped guide it through its acquisition by IBM.
Matthew HellerOctober 11, 2019

Red Hat CFO Eric Shander, who helped steer the open-source software company through its $34 billion acquisition by IBM, has been dismissed for violating workplace standards.

Shander’s termination, which was reported Friday by the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer, came three months after Red Hat closed its merger with IBM, his former employer. He will be replaced by Laurie Krebs, the company’s senior vice president of finance.

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Eric Shander

Stephanie Wonderlick, a company spokeswoman, told the News & Observer that Shander’s departure was related to workplace standards but did not provide any additional details.

“We have confidence that Laurie will help continue and drive Red Hat’s strong momentum, including that resulting from the acquisition by IBM,” she said. “Red Hat’s accounting and control functions remain healthy.”

Shander joined Raleigh-based Red Hat in 2015 after nearly 15 years at IBM. At Red Hat, he served as chief accounting officer and acting CFO before being promoted to CFO in April 2017.

During his tenure, he helped navigate the IBM deal, one of the largest tech mergers in history. “When the merger was announced, the two companies stressed that Red Hat will remain largely independent as part of the deal, but many in the Raleigh area have worried about a potential culture clash between IBM and the open-source ethos of Red Hat,” the News & Observer said.

In fiscal year 2019, Shander earned $657,250 in total compensation. According to an SEC filing, he was eligible for a $4 million retention bonus if he stayed with Red Hat for 12 months past the official close of the deal, with 50% of the award vesting after six months.

In the event of an involuntary termination without cause prior to the one-year anniversary, Shander would receive any unpaid portion of the award, the filing said.

Shander recently told Insigniam Quarterly he most wanted his Red Hat legacy to be about leadership. “If people feel there was a connection that I created to the organization and that they were enriched as a professional, it would be hard for me not to smile,” he said.

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