January 4, 2007 12:08 PM PST
Could Red Hat lose JBoss founder?
Fleury went on paternity leave in early December and is expected back "in a few months," Red Hat said in a statement. According to Fleury's automated e-mail response, it's his fourth child, and Fleury will return to work on March 15.
But an e-mail Fleury sent to a select group of JBoss colleagues takes a very different tone and raises questions about his prospects at Red Hat.
"I am going to take some time off to take care of family and myself. I am increasingly experiencing diminishing returns on my emotional and professional investments at Red Hat," Fleury said in the December note seen by CNET News.com. "Working with all of you at JBoss has been a pleasure and probably the apex of my short career."
Fleury, who founded JBoss in 2001, didn't respond to requests for comment. Red Hat didn't comment beyond its statement.
The JBoss founder is outspoken, though, and hasn't changed his ways since joining the Linux and open-source software company. In a November interview with eWeek, Fleury complained that the JBoss research and development budget "really hasn't benefited from a huge investment, which I was hoping for and was the main reason I went to Red Hat...That's a bit of a point of frustration for me personally."
JBoss is open-source software for running Java software on servers. Red Hat completed its acquisition of the company in June, a major component of its effort to expand beyond the Linux operating system to higher-level software "up the stack."
In 2005, analysts raised doubts about the JBoss integration. But when reporting financial results for its most recent quarter, Red Hat reiterated its expectation that JBoss would generate between $22 million and $27 million by the time the company's fiscal year ends on February 28.
Among what Red Hat Chief Executive Matthew Szulik described in December as "numerous" deals last quarter worth at least $1 million in revenue to Red Hat, two-thirds involved sales of JBoss support, he said.