Nat Friedman

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Nat Friedman
20060424 Nat Friedman.jpg
Friedman in April 2006
Nathaniel Dourif Friedman

(1977-08-06) August 6, 1977 (age 44)
EducationMassachusetts Institute of Technology (BS)
Known forCEO of GitHub (October 2018 - November 2021)

Nathaniel Dourif Friedman is an American technology executive and investor. From October 2018 to November 2021 he was the chief executive officer (CEO) of GitHub.

Life and career[edit]

In 1996 while a freshman at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Friedman befriended Miguel de Icaza on LinuxNet, the IRC network that Friedman had created to discuss Linux. As an intern at Microsoft Friedman worked on the IIS web server. At MIT he studied Computer Science and Mathematics and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1999.[1]

Friedman co-founded Ximian (originally called International Gnome Support,[1] then Helix Code[2]) with de Icaza to develop applications and infrastructure for GNOME, the project de Icaza had started with the aim of producing a free software desktop environment. The company was later bought by Novell in 2003.[3][4]

At Novell, Friedman was the Chief Technology and Strategy Officer for Open Source until January 2010.[5][3][6] There he launched the Hula Project which began with the release of components of Novell NetMail as open source.[7] During his tenure, Novell began an effort to migrate 6,000 employees away from Microsoft Windows to SUSE Linux and from Microsoft Office to[8][9][10] Friedman's final project before his departure was work on SUSE Studio.[3]

During his sabbatical, Friedman created and hosted a podcast called Hacker Medley.[11]

In May 2011, Friedman and de Icaza together founded Xamarin, and Friedman was made CEO.[6] The company was created to offer commercial support for Mono, a project that de Icaza had initiated at Ximian to provide a free software implementation of Microsoft's .NET software stack. At Xamarin they focused on continuing to develop Mono and MonoDevelop and marketing the cross-platform Xamarin SDK to developers targeting mobile computing devices and video game consoles. In 2016, Xamarin was acquired by Microsoft.[12]

With the June 2018 announcement of Microsoft's $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub, the companies simultaneously announced that Friedman would become GitHub's new CEO.[13][14][15][16] GitHub's co-founder and then-current CEO Chris Wanstrath had been leading a search for his replacement since August 2017.[17][18] Friedman assumed the role of CEO on the 29th of October 2018.[19] On 3rd of November 2021, Friedman announced that he is stepping down as CEO to move on to his next adventures.[20]

He has been married to Stephanie Friedman (née Schatz) since 2009.[21][22]


  1. ^ a b "The pre-history of Helix Code". Archived from the original on November 27, 2013.
  2. ^ Amy Bennett (20 March 2001). "Nat Friedman, in his own right". ITworld.
  3. ^ a b c "Ximian Founder Nat Friedman Leaves Novell". Linux Magazine Online. January 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-07.
  4. ^ Kirk St.Amant; Brian Still (2007). Handbook of Research on Open Source Software: Technological, Economic, and Social Perspectives. IGI Global. p. 595. ISBN 978-1-59140-999-1.
  5. ^ Nat Friedman (January 8, 2010). "Hitting the road". Archived from the original on May 29, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Xamarin". Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  7. ^ Nat Friedman (February 15, 2002). "The Hula Project". Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  8. ^ "TLLTS Episode 71". The Linux Link Tech Show (Podcast). February 16, 2005.
  9. ^ "Ximian's co-creator Nat Friedman entertains the future". February 23, 2005.
  10. ^ "Nat Friedman on the Future of Collaboration". Slashdot. February 24, 2005.
  11. ^ "Hacker Medley". Archived from the original on September 28, 2017.
  12. ^ "Microsoft to acquire Xamarin and empower more developers to build apps on any device". Official Microsoft Blog. 24 February 2016. Archived from the original on February 24, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  13. ^ "Microsoft to acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion". June 4, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  14. ^ Wanstrath, Chris (June 4, 2018). "A bright future for GitHub". The GitHub Blog. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  15. ^ Bass, Dina; Newcomer, Eric (June 4, 2018). "Microsoft Agrees to Buy Coding Site GitHub for $7.5 billion". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  16. ^ Iyengar, Rishi (June 4, 2018). "Microsoft buys coding platform GitHub for $7.5 billion". CNN Money. CNN. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  17. ^ "GitHub's CEO to step down for the second time". Business Insider. August 18, 2017. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  18. ^ "GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath Plans To Step Down After Finding His Own Replacement". Forbes. August 17, 2017. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  19. ^ natfriedman (2018-10-26). "Pull request successfully merged. Starting build…". The GitHub Blog. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  20. ^ natfriedman (2021-11-03). "Thank you, GitHub". The GitHub Blog. Retrieved 2021-11-03.
  21. ^ "@she_travels" on Twitter
  22. ^ "Ximian Founder Nat Friedman Leaves Novell » Linux Magazine".

External links[edit]