Nathaniel Dourif Friedman (born 6 August 1977[1]) is an American technology executive and investor. He was the chief executive officer (CEO) of GitHub and former Chairman of the GNOME Foundation. Friedman is currently a board member at the Arc Institute and an advisor of Midjourney.[2][3]

Nat Friedman
Friedman in April 2006
Nathaniel Dourif Friedman

(1977-08-06) August 6, 1977 (age 46)
EducationMassachusetts Institute of Technology (BS)
Known forCEO of GitHub (2018–2021)

Early life and education edit

Friedman attended and graduated from St. Anne's-Belfield School in 1996.[4]

In 1996, while a freshman at the 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 degree in 1999.[5]

Career edit

In 1999, Friedman co-founded Ximian (originally called International Gnome Support,[5] then Helix Code[6]) 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.[7][8]

At Novell, Friedman was the Chief Technology and Strategy Officer for Open Source until January 2010.[9][7][10] There he launched the Hula Project which began with the release of components of Novell NetMail as open source.[11] During his tenure, Novell began an effort to migrate 6,000 employees away from Microsoft Windows to SUSE Linux and from Microsoft Office to[12][13][14] Friedman's final project before his departure was work on SUSE Studio.[7]

During his sabbatical, Friedman created and hosted a podcast called Hacker Medley with friend and former Ximian employee Alex Graveley.[15][16]

In May 2011, Friedman and de Icaza founded Xamarin, with Friedman as CEO.[10] 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.[17]

With the June 2018 announcement of Microsoft's $7.5 billion (~$8.96 billion in 2023) acquisition of GitHub, the companies simultaneously announced that Friedman, then a Microsoft corporate vice president, would become GitHub's new CEO.[18][19][20][21] GitHub's co-founder and then-current CEO Chris Wanstrath had been leading a search for his replacement since August 2017.[22][23] Friedman assumed the role of CEO on the 29th of October 2018.[24] During his tenure as CEO, Friedman introduced a number of new products rapidly, including GitHub Copilot, GitHub Codespaces, a native GitHub mobile app for iOS and Android, the GitHub Advanced Security product, GitHub Sponsors to support open source developers financially, and a new GitHub CLI. Friedman also acquired six companies including NPM, Semmle, Dependabot, and PullPanda. He helped grow GitHub to an estimated value of $16.5 billion (~$19.7 billion in 2023),[25] more than double what Microsoft paid for GitHub in 2018. In November 2021, Friedman announced that he was stepping down as CEO.[26]

Friedman co-founded California YIMBY in 2017 to address California's housing shortage.[27]

In 2023, Friedman created, a web interface for popular large language models.[28]

Alongside Daniel Gross, Friedman also has made significant investments in the AI space through a fund called C2 Investments, as well as running an AI grant program that gives funding and Microsoft Azure credits.[29] During the depositor run on Silicon Valley Bank in mid-March 2023, Friedman provided capital to multiple startups.[30]

Personal life edit

He has been married to Stephanie Friedman (née Schatz) since 2009.[31][32] They live in Menlo Park, having moved there from San Francisco after a home-invasion.[33]

References edit

  1. ^ "Nat Friedman | Golden". Golden. Archived from the original on 2023-11-30. Retrieved 2024-03-27.
  2. ^ "Team | Arc Institute". Retrieved 2024-03-08.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "In the News". St. Anne's-Belfield School.
  5. ^ a b "The pre-history of Helix Code". Archived from the original on November 27, 2013.
  6. ^ Amy Bennett (20 March 2001). "Nat Friedman, in his own right". ITworld. Archived from the original on 5 June 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Ximian Founder Nat Friedman Leaves Novell". Linux Magazine Online. January 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-07.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Nat Friedman (January 8, 2010). "Hitting the road". Archived from the original on May 29, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  10. ^ a b "Xamarin". Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  11. ^ Nat Friedman (February 15, 2002). "The Hula Project". Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  12. ^ "TLLTS Episode 71". The Linux Link Tech Show (Podcast). February 16, 2005.
  13. ^ "Ximian's co-creator Nat Friedman entertains the future". February 23, 2005. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  14. ^ "Nat Friedman on the Future of Collaboration". Slashdot. February 24, 2005.
  15. ^ "Hacker Medley". Archived from the original on September 28, 2017.
  16. ^ "Alex Graveley - Principal Engineer - GitHub". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ "Microsoft to acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion". June 4, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  19. ^ Wanstrath, Chris (June 4, 2018). "A bright future for GitHub". The GitHub Blog. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  20. ^ Bass, Dina; Newcomer, Eric (June 4, 2018). "Microsoft Agrees to Buy Coding Site GitHub for $7.5 billion". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  21. ^ Iyengar, Rishi (June 4, 2018). "Microsoft buys coding platform GitHub for $7.5 billion". CNN Money. CNN. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  22. ^ "GitHub's CEO to step down for the second time". Business Insider. August 18, 2017. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  23. ^ "GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath Plans To Step Down After Finding His Own Replacement". Forbes. August 17, 2017. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  24. ^ natfriedman (2018-10-26). "Pull request successfully merged. Starting build…". The GitHub Blog. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  25. ^ Levy, Ari (17 October 2021). "GitLab grew up in GitHub's shadow — now it's worth twice what Microsoft paid for its chief rival". CNBC. Retrieved 2022-10-06.
  26. ^ natfriedman (2021-11-03). "Thank you, GitHub". The GitHub Blog. Retrieved 2021-11-03.
  27. ^ "California YIMBY Statement on Governor Signing Major Housing Legislation". California YIMBY. 2022-09-28. Retrieved 2022-10-06.
  28. ^ "Nat Friedman via Twitter". March 24, 2023.
  29. ^ "Billion-Dollar AI Venture Fund Offers Elusive Nvidia Chips to Win Deals". June 20, 2023.
  30. ^ Konrad, Alex (March 17, 2023). "Startups Asked For Help Making Payroll After SVB. VC Responses Were Mixed". Forbes.
  31. ^ "@she_travels" on Twitter
  32. ^ "Ximian Founder Nat Friedman Leaves Novell » Linux Magazine".
  33. ^ "@natfriedman on Twitter: We moved out of San Francisco to Menlo Park a year ago after two meth addicts broke into our house while we were home and robbed us..."

External links edit