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Wash100 Honors Paul Smith Anew for Leading RGS to Key Hire, New Product Release, Industry Partnerships

Wash100 Honors Paul Smith Anew for Leading RGS to Key Hire, New Product Release, Industry Partnerships
Paul Smith, CEO, RGS

Executive Mosaic is pleased to announce that Paul Smith has once again been named a winner of the Wash100 Award, an accolade conferred annually to the government contracting industry’s 100 most influential and impactful leaders.

The Popular Vote Competition of the 2024 Wash100 Award runs through April 30, 2024. Click here to vote for Paul Smith as one of your favorite GovCon industry leaders!

Smith’s win this year marks his fourth overall. During his previous win, Smith was still senior vice president and general manager of the public sector business at Red Hat. After leaving the software company in 2021, he took on advisory roles at multiple firms like Software AG Government Solutions and Mattermost. Finally, in July last year, he was appointed CEO of Kubernetes management software provider Rancher Government Solutions.

Regarding his selection as RGS chief, Smith said, “I am delighted to be back in the saddle at Rancher Government to help drive agnostic, secure open source solutions to meet and accelerate U.S. Government missions.”

He went on to praise the company he has been tasked to steward, saying, “Rancher embodies the innovation and collaboration of the open source community, while delivering hardened, enterprise ready subscriptions to meet the strict security and operational demands of the U.S. Government and Military. We meet you at your mission with cloud native, interoperable solutions that run anywhere, from the data center, to any cloud service provider, and out to the tactical edge. We know choice happens and our goal is to enable the U.S. Government to leverage all the tools available to secure and enhance our critical infrastructure today and in the future.”

Commenting on Smith’s latest Wash100 win, Jim Garrettson, CEO of Executive Mosaic and founder of the Wash100 Award, said, “Paul takes a servant leadership approach to his role at the helm of Rancher Government Solutions, and by doing so, he has fostered a culture of respect, trust, innovation and creativity that propels the company forward. With more than three decades of senior leadership experience at well-known enterprises like Red Hat and Oracle, Paul has amassed hundreds of trusted relationships, deep GovCon knowledge and seasoned software expertise, with which he guides RGS to new heights. We’re proud to have Paul back on our Wash100 list this year.”

Even though Smith has been head of RGS for less than a year, he has already led the company to multiple key accomplishments, which will undoubtedly result in greater success in the future.

These accomplishments include the recruitment in August of Mike Byrd as vice president of ecosystems and partner management. Smith said at the time that, in his new role, Byrd was expected to help RGS grow its business in the federal market amid increasing adoption of Kubernetes by the government. Byrd brought to the position government IT experience spanning three decades, which included time spent in Sun Microsystems and, most recently, Red Hat.

Smith noted the timeliness of Byrd’s selection and praised the new VP’s qualities and accomplishments, saying, “Mike is very well known in both the National Commercial and Government Partner, Distribution and SI space. He has run many successful sales organizations for years and has always focused on his team’s personal and professional career growth as well as the success and satisfaction of his partners and their customers.”

Equally important to a company’s success are the partnerships it forges with other industry members. Under Smith’s leadership, RGS has so far achieved three.

Shortly after Smith took the reins at RGS, the company was named an Emerging Technology Partner under the Leidos Alliance Partner Network, which brings together leading technology companies from across the world to drive innovation and customer success.

Commenting on RGS’ selection, Leidos Chief Information Officer Derrick Pledger touted prior collaborations between the companies “to develop edge-to-cloud architectures, execution patterns and secure Kubernetes methodologies” that would benefit U.S. government customers through modernization.

In September, RGS partnered with Oracle resulting in Rancher offerings making their way into the Oracle Cloud Marketplace. Commenting on the development, RGS Director of Cloud Dan McGuan said, “Our partnership with Oracle and [Oracle Cloud Infrastructure] brings to bear the best of what RGS and Oracle have to offer for mission critical container infrastructure.”

For his part, OCI Senior Solutions Architect Collin Poczatek said that RGS’ products “bring immense capabilities to OCI customers and complement the Oracle offerings.”

More recently, RGS entered into a strategic partnership with Kratos Defense & Security Solutions. RGS Chief Technology Officer Brandon Gulla explained that, under the partnership, Rancher products will make it possible for the OpenSpace Platform — Kratos’ software-defined satellite ground system — to deploy its various virtual functions as Kubernetes-based containerized software applications.

For his part, Chief Solutions Architect of the OpenSpace Platform Anthony Semiao said, “Rancher serves as the Kubernetes management technology that supports the OpenSpace Platform’s ability to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of our containerized workloads.”

At a time of continuing technological innovation, bringing new offerings to market is key to continued success. Just this February, RGS announced the release of Rancher Government Hauler, another key accomplishment under Smith’s tenure. Hauler works to simplify the process of moving assets from internet connected environments through the airgap into disconnected environments, a process that would otherwise be time consuming and difficult.

The speed at which Smith has made a difference at RGS is remarkable and it is this kind of impactful leadership — embodied by a timely key hire, industry partnerships and a product release — that the Wash100 Award honors and celebrates.

Congratulations to Smith and his team for this latest Wash100 win.

Click here to choose Paul Smith for the Popular Vote Competition!

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Written by Jerry Petersen

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