Another piece of Red Hat’s strategy to win market share in the corporate desktop space has fallen into place, and the Hatters reached into the managerial ranks of rival Sun to bolster that effort.

Red Hat announced Monday morning before the markets opened that it had hired Karen Tegan-Padir to be vice president of desktop infrastructure technologies. Tegan-Padir most recently served as vice president of engineering for J2EE (Java Enterprise Edition) at Sun. She has 15 years of experience in enterprise engineering.

In a statement, the Linux software developer said Tegan-Padir “will be responsible for desktop infrastructure technology strategy that will include the Netscape assets recently acquired.”

Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT) purchased a variety of technologies recently from America On Line, which owned Netscape.

Penetration of the desktop market is a stated goal of Red Hat CEO Matthew Szuilik.

“Karen’s enterprise experience in middleware and infrastructure will be instrumental in our continued build-out of the Open Source Architecture,” said Paul Cormier, executive vice president of engineering at Red Hat, in a statement.

Red Hat noted that Tegan-Padir was among the founding members of J2EE team within Sun and played a key role in development of Java System Application Server products as well as message queue, integration server and database technologies.

Tegan-Padir has also worked for Stratus Computer. She earned an MBA and a bacheloers of science degree in computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Red Hat said she will be based at the company’s Engineering Competency Center in Westford, MA.

Red Hat: www.redhat.com