In 2001, it was anyone’s guess who would be the dominant business Linux company. Yes, Red Hat was in the running, but so was Caldera, SUSE, and TurboLinux. And, there was still a reasonable chance that Sun with Solaris could fend off Linux from datacenters. Then, Red Hat realized that rather than competing with the others with do-it-all developer-oriented Linux distros, it should go after big business with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
The person who directed this fundamental change? Red Hat’s new CEO and President Paul Cormier.