RALEIGH – From the day the Red Hat-IBM deal for $34 billion was announced last October, concerns have been raised about whether the Hatters’ innovative company culture would survive. IBM Chair and CEO Ginni Rometty reiterated Tuesday that Red Hat would remain independent as promised.

“I don’t have a death wish for $34 billion,” Rometty said in a conversation with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst at the Red Hat Summit in Boston.

“I’m not buying them to destroy them. It’s a win win for our clients. It’s a way to drive more innovation.”

Both executives declared Red Hat’s independence the day the deal was announced.

Red Hat CEO: Merger with IBM already creating culture clashes

In his own comments Tuesday, Whitehurst said meetings to plan the merger between executives of the two companies has already demonstrated differences in company cultures.

The combination of the tech giants, with Red Hat based in Raleigh, moved a major step toward completion on Monday when IBM announced the Department of Justice had approved the deal. However, Whitehurst told the Summit that European Union approval is still needed.

Watch the video: Jim Whitehurst talks with future boss Ginni Rometty

Rometty is scheduled to be in Raleigh on Saturday to deliver the commence address at NC State’s spring graduation ceremony.

She also will get a chance to see Red Hat’s new logo atop the company’s downtown Raleigh HQ tower.

Department of Justice approves $34B IBM acquisition of Red Hat