Disclaimer: Red Hat employee (at the moment)
It's also how we were able to spin out our company and raise VC on something inspired by experience, if not using the same code, as what we worked on internally. Having one of the Red Hat founders as our investor helped, but I just loved this attitude of "go build something awesome and keep in touch".
I hope your transition goes well!
So...not completely true. There was that one memo-list thread last year where someone complained loudly that they were not allowed to work on an intentionally competing solution and repo, even if it was on their own time.