RALEIGH — Red Hat President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Whitehurst will deliver the commencement address at Campbell Law School’s 36th annual hooding and graduation ceremony on May 9.
The celebration is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.
“It’s an honor to be asked to deliver the commencement address for Campbell Law School’s 36th annual commencement ceremony,” Whitehurst said. “Graduating from law school is a remarkable milestone, filled with excitement and trepidation. I look forward to saluting these graduates on this prestigious accomplishment, and sharing a few experiences that I hope will inspire them as they begin their legal careers.”
Red Hat has established itself as the world’s leading provider of open source enterprise IT products and services under Whitehurst’s direction. With a background in business development, finance, and global operations, Whitehurst has expertise in helping companies flourish even in the most challenging economic and business environments.
“We are honored to have Jim speak to our graduates on this most special occasion,” said Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard. “His business acumen and leadership qualities serve as a blueprint for success, and that’s an important message for our graduates to take in as they embark on careers as leaders in the law and community. I have no doubt that he will offer a powerful message that will be well-received by all in attendance.”
Since joining Red Hat in 2008, Whitehurst has grown the company, and its influence on the IT industry, by reaching key milestones — the most notable in 2012 when Red Hat became the first $1 billion revenue open source software company. Whitehurst began his career in 1989 at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Chicago, and held several corporate development leadership roles at the firm. Over the next decade, he also worked in BCG’s Hong Kong and Shanghai offices, and as a partner in the Atlanta office with numerous clients across a wide range of industries. He was named partner at BCG in 2000.
On Sept. 11, 2001, the Delta Air Lines leadership team asked Whitehurst to serve as its acting treasurer. That same week, he led the company’s secured debt offering, winning the Thomson-IVR “Deal of the Year” for reopening the capital markets. In 2002, he joined Delta full time as senior vice president of finance, treasury and business development and was promoted again in 2004 to chief network and planning officer — a position from which he drove significant international expansion. He was named chief operating officer in 2005, overseeing all aspects of airline operations, including sales, marketing, operations and strategy.
Whitehurst graduated from Rice University in Houston in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and computer science. He also attended Fredrick Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany, and holds a general course degree from the London School of Economics. He received his Masters in Business Administration from Harvard in 1994. In 2007, while COO of Delta Airlines, he was nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.