Local Tech Wire

RALEIGH, N.C. – Hugh Shelton, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a native of North Carolina, is the new chairman at Red Hat. (Nasdaq: RHT).

Shelton succeeds Matthew Szulik, who retired earlier this month.

“General Shelton is an individual of the utmost integrity. He has excelled in the numerous roles and positions held throughout his career and as a dedicated member of Red Hat’s board of directors for more than seven years,” said Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat, in a statement. “General Shelton possesses the right combination of leadership, experience and industry knowledge to help guide Red Hat toward achieving its future goals.”

Shelton played a key role in recruiting Whitehurst as Red Hat’s CEO two years ago.

Shelton has been a board member at Red Hat since 2003.

Before becoming chairman, Shelton was Red Hat’s lead director. He also serves on the board’s audit and compensation committees.

He served two terms of Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman beginning in 1997 under President Clinton.

Shelton’s extensive military background as noted by North Carolina State University:

"[Before taking over as chair of the Joint Chiefs], he served as commander in chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command, which oversees the Green Berets and the Navy SEALs.

"Shelton earned his commission through the Reserve Officers Training Corps at NC State, where he graduated in 1963 with a degree in textile engineering. He earned a master of science degree from Auburn University. His military education includes completion of the Air Command and Staff College and the National War College programs. In the two decades after his commissioning, Shelton held a variety command and staff positions in the United States and Vietnam. He served two tours in Vietnam, first with the 5th Special Forces Group and then with the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

"Following his selection in 1987 as brigadier general, Shelton served in the Operations Directorate of the Joint Staff. In 1989, he began a two-year assignment as assistant division commander for operations of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) — a tour that included a seven-month deployment to Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. After the Gulf War, he was promoted to major general and assigned to Fort Bragg, where he commanded the 82nd Airborne Division. He was promoted to lieutenant general in 1993. In 1994, he commanded the Operation Uphold Democracy joint task force in Haiti. In 1996, Shelton was promoted to general and became commander in chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

"His awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with 2 oak leaf clusters), Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with oak leaf cluster), Bronze Star Medal with V device (with 3 oak leaf clusters), and the Purple Heart.

"Shelton is married to Tarboro native Carolyn Johnson Shelton. They have three sons, Jon, Jeff and Mark."

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