In an interview with Jim Cramer on Thursday, Red Hat's CEO Jim Whitehurst said Calderoni was an "extraordinary" executive, and was always more of a CEO-in-waiting.
"An opportunity came up and he will be a CEO, and when he came to Red Hat he said his aspiration was to be a CEO. I fully understood that, and obviously the timing is not perfect, but he has a great opportunity," Whitehurst said.
Whitehurst added that the departure was always expected at some point, it was just unfortunate that it was announced this quarter. Calderoni joined Red Hat in June 2015 after serving as the CEO of Cisco Systems. He is leaving Red Hat to become CEO of a company that was not named.