From March next year, I’ll focus my Canonical energy on product design, partnerships and customers. Those are the areas that I enjoy most and also the areas where I can best shape the impact we have on open source and the technology market. I’m able to do this because Jane Silber, who has been COO at Canonical virtually from the beginning, will take on the job of CEO.
Since Jane joined the company, she and I have shared the load of coordinating between the leaders of all the key teams that make up Canonical. We’ve been through various permutations as new initiatives needed different kinds of attention; Jane currently leads the Ubuntu One effort, for example.
I’ve become very passionate about design and quality, and want to spend more time figuring out how we harness the collaborative process to build better, more insightful products. I can’t think of a more interesting challenge, and luckily I couldn’t think of a better person to take over my formal management and leadership responsibilities at Canonical than Jane. We’ve worked together long enough, and closely enough, that I can be confident of continuity in the pieces I most care about and also excited about the ways in which I think Jane will raise the bar for the senior team. As a former VP at General Dynamics, Jane has more experience of large customers and large organisational leadership, which I see as essential for Canonical over the next five years. We are being welcomed as a partner and supplier to ever-larger businesses, and I want to make sure we are a robust answer to their needs.
Many folks in the community will know Jane from Ubuntu Developer Summits, and of course she’s well established as a leader at Canonical. In order to focus on the new role, we’ll be hiring for a COO and a new lead for Ubuntu One (both positions will be advertised publicly as well as within Canonical). There’s no rush, so we plan to coordinate things carefully and I expect I’ll be focused on my new role by March.