Michael Chen, general manager of operations for Red Hat in China, is heading to Raleigh as vice president for corporate marketing.

In his new role, Chen will report directly to Red Hat Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Szulik.

The news Monday came just as Credit Suisse was downgrading Red Hat (NYSE: ) stock to “neutral” from “outperform.” Red Hat announces quarterly earnings Tuesday afternoon. It is expected to report earnings of 17 cents per share.

“We are downgrading shares of Red Hat to Neutral from Outperform and trimming our price target to $22,” analyst Jason Maynard said as reported by Cnet blogger Matt Asay. Asay closely follows Red Hat and Linux software.

“The downgrade is based on lack of conviction in our original thesis that field execution would gradually improve and the JBoss product line would experience a meaningful uptick in sales. Our checks indicate that the organization continues to be in a state of flux as the company works through its transition to a multi-product company. These struggles appear to be more pronounced than we had anticipated and will likely take longer to fix. In our opinion, these challenges are largely fixable but it won’t happen overnight.”

Red Hat acquired JBoss in June of 2006 for $350 million. JBoss founder Marc Fleury left Red Hat earlier this year.

Credit Suisse had upgraded Red Hat stock in May.

Chen, who attended graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, joined Red Hat in 2002. He was tasked with opening Red Hat’s operations in China.

“Michael Chen is an excellent leader and marketer,” Szulik said in a statement. “Michael will expand the breadth of international knowledge and experience in the senior leadership of Red Hat.”
Chen earned a Master’s degree in computer network engineering at North Carolina State University and an undergraduate degree at Nanjing University in China.