To scale our global software engineering organisation, we have opened six VP Engineering positions.

Canonical is a worldwide provider of open source operating systems, applications, security, support, services and solutions. We are the publisher of Ubuntu. Our mission is to be the best partner for building on open source, from the smallest devices to the largest clouds. We are the number one platform for public cloud production deployments, the number one enterprise Linux for IoT, and the developer platform of choice for Linux engineering.

The business is growing and profitable. We are preparing to take the company public, and wish to ensure that we have a strong bench of software engineering leadership in place to lead innovation, quality and rigour as we expand. We are particularly focused on software engineering practice - design, documentation, community engagement, quality, developer relations, commercial competitiveness and usability are all skills and habits we expect our teams to develop.

As a platform company we offer a wide range of software engineering challenges, from the Linux kernel up through Ubuntu server, desktop, IoT and operations tooling, from the public cloud to the edge, as open source products and commercial business systems. We work in low-level engineering with kernels and compilers and toolchains. We create distributed systems in Golang and Python, we work with web technology, and many layers in between. Our commercial offerings are both software and SAAS, along with a range of professional services and support.

We will structure our engineering organisation around these six VP roles, reporting to the CEO, in no particular order:

VP Engineering, Ubuntu
Ubuntu itself - the server and desktop experience, kernel, low level system, toolchains, and runtimes such as Python and Java.

VP Engineering, Cloud
Our public cloud experience on AWS, Azure, GCP, Oracle, IBM, our Docker images and container capabilities, and our private cloud offerings, including MAAS bare metal cloud, Kubernetes, OpenStack, OVN, OVS, Ceph and LXD virtualisation.

VP Engineering, SAAS
Our online services, including our systems management service, our software distribution systems for debs, snaps, Docker images and charms, and our developer collaboration infrastructure.

VP Engineering, IoT
Ubuntu Core and offerings that enable next-generation secure devices for the edge and IoT, from automotive to drones, from the factory to telco, home and office environments.

VP Engineering, Information Systems
Commercial systems for Canonical and customers, including our own internal systems, security offerings, and IT operations solutions. This is effectively a combined engineering leadership and CIO role.

VP Engineering, Enterprise Solutions
Open source enterprise offerings from databases through data lakes and document stores, analytics, MLops and visualisation, to identity management, model-driven devops, and cloud-native operations of the entire open source application universe.

Canonical is a product-centric organisation. These leaders are responsible for the success of the products in their group, working with  their engineering directors and managers, to ensure that they have what they need to be successful. We offer customers a unified approach to open source, and our success depends on the quality of experience customers have when they use our products together. VP's work with product management to ensure customer experiences are harmonised across our very diverse product range.

At this level, competitive strategy is as important as software engineering skill and experience. We expect our software engineering group to be commercially astute, to be thoughtful about global technology and market trends, to be aware of competitor positioning, to be excited to change the game and bring new ideas to fruition, and to ensure that Canonical products lead the market. There is nothing 'business as usual' about enterprise technology, it is a highly competitive arena with constant change, and this leadership team is critical to our ability to move faster and deliver better than our competitors.

These positions are advertised widely. Applications by females and under-represented groups will carry extra weight in the early assessment stage. Final appointments will be on merit alone.

Required skills and experience

Candidates should have a track record of successful product delivery in the software industry, the ability to speak compellingly to a global industry audience, the ability to plan and organise across multiple products and teams, clear leadership skills, an appreciation for open source, and hunger for commercial success.

  • Exceptional academic results at high school and university
  • Degree qualification in Computer Science or Software Engineering
  • Passion for high quality, usable, fast and reliable software
  • Extensive management experience with multiple reporting teams
  • Confidence in public speaking
  • Exceptional work ethic
  • Ability to travel internationally for company and industry events
  • Successful startup experience preferred
  • Public company experience preferred
  • Open source experience strongly preferred

We are an ambitious organisation with the goal to be the primary partner for most industry players and end-users of open source, but we are  also humble - our primary mission as a platform and an aggregator is to serve those who innovate on open source rather than competing with them. We don't create a new database - we enable others to create and distribute new open source products, and our strategy must be as good for them as it is for us. Our success depends on the success of others. We benefit from the growth of the major public clouds, of open source startups, of semiconductor companies, and of the businesses that choose to build on open source and Ubuntu - and we value their success as much as our own.

We believe that open source will be the foundation of all enterprise computing, from the edge to the cloud. Today, we deliver the leading open source operating system, Ubuntu, but we believe that Ubuntu is the tip of the iceberg and we would like to serve the wider market for applications, services and solutions with equal success.

You will need to be exceptional, organised and deeply motivated by Canonical's values and strategy to pursue one of these roles. You will need to understand how Canonical is different, and what that difference means competitively, commercially and socially. For the right candidate, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead a category of open source and the de facto standard experience that millions of developers and businesses have with it.

Your technology interests may include cloud computing, IoT, web systems, back-end data stores, scale-out infrastructure or Linux itself. You should have a gift for software design and implementation, and enjoy a highly professional environment with careful choices of technology, architecture, data design, and user interface. You should have broad-based knowledge of Linux, networking, software development, databases, API design and possibly web presentation layers.

You must be familiar with the open source environment, and want to build products in partnership with a community. We expect engineering leaders to demonstrate insight into performance and quality engineering practices, and help teams embrace effective disciplines. You should also have an understanding of security practices and principles and the impact that engineering choices have on product security. We also expect our leaders to take responsibility for delivering well-documented products and working with design professionals to shape the user experience. You should have clear views on the ways engineering practices influence product outcomes, not just technically but in open source communities and in the marketplace.

This is a role for leadership, management, organization, planning and mentorship, not individual contribution through coding. You should relish the opportunity to shape, direct and develop an engineering organisation that is happy and brilliant, and produces a collection of products that will be a pleasure to use with the rest of the Canonical suite of offerings.

Whatever your nationality, ethnicity, gender or identity, we welcome your application and will give it fair consideration.




Apply for this Job

* Required

When autocomplete results are available use up and down arrows to review
+ Add Another Education

U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Information (Completion is voluntary)

Individuals seeking employment at Canonical are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation. You are being given the opportunity to provide the following information in order to help us comply with federal and state Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action record keeping, reporting, and other legal requirements.

Completion of the form is entirely voluntary. Whatever your decision, it will not be considered in the hiring process or thereafter. Any information that you do provide will be recorded and maintained in a confidential file.

Race & Ethnicity Definitions

If you believe you belong to any of the categories of protected veterans listed below, please indicate by making the appropriate selection. As a government contractor subject to Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), we request this information in order to measure the effectiveness of the outreach and positive recruitment efforts we undertake pursuant to VEVRAA. Classification of protected categories is as follows:

A "disabled veteran" is one of the following: a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

A "recently separated veteran" means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.

An "active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran" means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.

An "Armed forces service medal veteran" means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.

Form CC-305

OMB Control Number 1250-0005

Expires 05/31/2023

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability

Why are you being asked to complete this form?

We are a federal contractor or subcontractor required by law to provide equal employment opportunity to qualified people with disabilities. We are also required to measure our progress toward having at least 7% of our workforce be individuals with disabilities. To do this, we must ask applicants and employees if they have a disability or have ever had a disability. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we ask all of our employees to update their information at least every five years.

Identifying yourself as an individual with a disability is voluntary, and we hope that you will choose to do so. Your answer will be maintained confidentially and not be seen by selecting officials or anyone else involved in making personnel decisions. Completing the form will not negatively impact you in any way, regardless of whether you have self-identified in the past. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of federal contractors under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at

How do you know if you have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition.

Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disorder, for example, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV/AIDS
  • Blind or low vision
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular or heart disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, for example, Crohn's Disease, or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Intellectual disability
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Nervous system condition for example, migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, or Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Psychiatric condition, for example, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or major depression

1Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of Federal contractors, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at

PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT: According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.