When Red Hat laid off 4% of its global staff, Fedora Program Manager Ben Cotton was “a member of that 4%,” according to a new post on Cotton’s blog:

I’ve received so much support from people since the news started spreading. It’s like that end scene of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and I’m George Bailey. I’m proud of the contributions I’ve made to the Fedora community over the last five years, and it feels good to have others recognize that.
Cotton joined Red Hat in 2018, but “I was a Fedora contributor long before” Cotton writes, adding later that “I fully intend to still be participating in the Fedora community when my account hits the 20-year mark in May 2029.” (Cotton’s first foray into Fedora was joining its Docs team in 2009, and then volunteering to be the Docs project leader in 2011…)

And the blog post adds that professionally Cotton is “already pursuing a few opportunities… In the meantime, I have (at least) a few weeks to relax for a bit.”

I’ve told folks that if Fedora falls off the rails, then I have failed. I’m working with Matthew, Justin, and others to ensure coverage of the core job duties one way or another. I’ve worked hard over the years to automate tasks that can be automated. The documentation is far more comprehensive than what I inherited. No doubt there are gaps in what I’ve left for my successors. However, my goal is that in a few months, nobody will notice that I’m gone. That’s my measure of success…

As to what the broader implication behind the loss of my position might be, I don’t know. There’s no indication that my role was targeted specifically. There are definitely people in Red Hat who continue to view Fedora as strategically important.

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