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This article was published on June 4, 2018

GitHub’s new CEO isn’t asking for your trust, he plans to earn it

GitHub’s new CEO isn’t asking for your trust, he plans to earn it
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

After its $7.5 billion acquisition on Monday, Microsoft announced it would be replacing GitHub’s current CEO, co-founder Chris Wanstrath, with one of its own vice presidents, Nat Friedman.

Friedman today took to GitHub to introduce himself as the site’s new head honcho, and put to rest any ideas that he’s a suit without the credentials required for the new job.

In fact, the hoodie-clad Friedman went to great lengths to tout his development background. “I’ve been a developer since I was six,” Friedman said. He’s been active in open source since the 90s, and that’s where he discovered Linux. His first GitHub commit was in 2009, when the site was just a year old.

Since then, he’s gone on to found “a couple of open source companies” and maintains that the partnership with Microsoft is, indeed, a good thing.

When letting the Octocat out of the bag, Friedman stressed that GitHub would operate as an independent entity, and that the plan is to retain its product philosophy and deep-seated ties to the open-source community. While the former is basically boilerplate at this point, the optimist in me wants to believe the latter is true.

According to the blog post:

  • GitHub will operate independently as a community, platform, and business.This means that GitHub will retain its developer-first values, distinctive spirit, and open extensibility. We will always support developers in their choice of any language, license, tool, platform, or cloud.
  • GitHub will retain its product philosophy. We love GitHub because of the deep care and thoughtfulness that goes into every facet of the developer’s experience. I understand and respect this, and know that we will continue to build tasteful, snappy, polished tools that developers love.

Friedman closes the post by ensuring the community that he isn’t asking for your trust, but that he intends to earn it. He also reminded everyone he’s scheduled to do a Reddit AMA in a few days. Get those questions ready.