TOP 100 GLOBAL SALES LEADERS 2019

Kirsten Kliphouse

Senior Vice President & General Manager, North American Commercial Sales
Red Hat

In January, Kliphouse departed a CEO position at the start-up consulting business she founded to take on the responsibilities of general manager at North Carolina–based software company Red Hat. Barely a week had gone by before the company acquired CoreOS, a move that has allowed Red Hat to consolidate its position as one of the leading players in the world of open-source container-management systems, otherwise known as Kubernetes. In the nine months since that $250 million deal, considered one of the largest to date for Red Hat, the company has tallied record sales, including a 21 percent spike in revenue for the fiscal year 2018. “One of the most exciting trends today is the intense consumption and usage of information and data across businesses and consumers that impacts our work life and personal life,” Kliphouse said shortly after her appointment. “The ecosystems of communities, partners and businesses that enable this are at the center of the technology industry, including companies like Red Hat. Furthermore, this area of intelligent consumption is fueled by new technologies like AI and blockchain, where we have only just started to understand their capabilities and their impact on the technology industry.”