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SECOND UPDATE: SuSE Laying Off Staff? "Totally Rubbish," Says US Spokesperson, But President Confirms

Feb 08, 2001, 02:13 (31 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Hall)

Update: after several readers commented that the rumors SuSE denied are, indeed true, and LWN asserted that their coverage is accurate, a followup call to both the US offices of SuSE and Ms. Von Wedel revealed that while no one at the company is willing to comment further on whether layoffs are happening or not, some employees are being moved to a different office. Ms. Von Wedel said she could provide no information on layoffs. We'll continue to cover the story as it unfolds. -mph

Second Update: SuSE's President, Volker Wiegand, has confirmed the layoffs:
LinuxGram has the story.

By Michael Hall

A spokesperson for Germany's SuSE says rumors circulating regarding layoffs at the company are "totally rubbish," and that despite a generally depressed technology market and the well-publicized struggles some Linux companies have faced over the past year, the company is actually looking to expand its operation in the United States.

Xenia Von Wedel of the Terpin Group, a California-based PR firm and press contact for SuSE dismissed an unattributed story appearing on Linux Weekly News today that her client had layed off an unspecified number of U.S. employees as "just gossip, bad gossip" despite the LWN report and several calls she'd already handled today on the stories.

"People think there's something going on because all the other [tech companies] are laying people off," said Von Wedel, who went on to note that at the moment, the company plans to open a New York marketing and sales office this year and is still pressing ahead with plans to make an initial public offering (IPO) of stock at an unspecified time in the future.

Von Wedel acknowledged the difficulty in getting a handle on the company since they aren't a publicly-traded firm and "never have been too big in the United States," focusing instead on services-oriented deals with large, established hardware companies like IBM and Compaq.

Von Wedel also said that despite a recent firing of a single employee, SuSE has not, to her knowledge released anybody else, and that the company is in the process of adding office space in its current location.