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Local Tech Wire

RALEIGH, N.C. – Matthew Szulik will remain chairman of (NYSE: RHT) for at least another year, the company disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Szulik stepped down as chief executive officer at the world’s top Linux software and services provider in late December 2007 and was replaced by Jim Whitehurst.

The new agreement with Szulik took effect March 1, according to the filing. ()

Since January 1, Szulik has exercised options on and sold more than 600,000 shares of Red Hat stock.

As of Feb. 3, Szulik owned 228,072 shares, according to data at Yahoo! Finance.

The company said Szulik will be paid $40,000 as chairman plus $50,000 for his services as a board member. He also will receive stock options worth $175,000.

Once he leaves the board “for any reasons” Szulik will receive health benefits for himself and his dependants for three years, the filing says.

The agreement includes other guarantees to Szulik:

“Under Section 5.2 of the Chairman’s Agreement, upon cessation of Mr. Szulik’s service as a member of the Board as a result of death, disability or any reason other than removal for cause, his voluntary resignation or his notification of his intent not to stand for re-election, (i) his equity awards that would have vested had he continued to serve as a member of the Board through the remainder of his current term or over the 12 months following the date of cessation, whichever is longer, shall accelerate and be deemed vested and (ii) he shall be entitled to receive a lump-sum cash payment equal to the annual cash compensation he would have received had he continued as a member of the Board for the remainder of his applicable current term.”

Szulik was named Ernst & Young’s national technology entrepreneur of the year in 2008.