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SuSE, MandrakeSoft Each Announce New CEOs

Nov 25, 2002, 19:00 (2 Talkback[s])

François Bancilhon joins MandrakeSoft as New CEO

[ Thanks to Gaël Duval for this release. ]

MandrakeSoft announced today that former founder and CEO of O2 Technology François Bancilhon has been appointed new Chief Executive Officer of MandrakeSoft. Co-Founder Jacques Le Marois remains Chairman and President of MandrakeSoft.

François Bancilhon's main focus will be to increase MandrakeSoft's business and profitability while maintaining a high-level of technology commitment in the Linux and Open Source arena. François Bancilhon is 54.

Prior to joining MandrakeSoft, François Bancilhon gained extensive experience in successfully managing software companies as well as developing businesses in the information technologies sector. He was a founder and CEO of O2 Technology--an object database company that he successfully merged with Unidata in 1997. In 1999, he was a founder and CEO of Arioso, an ASP company that provides Human Resource and benefit management services to small and medium-sized businesses in the US. More recently, he was Chief Technology Officer of SomaLogic, a Biotech company based in Boulder, Colorado. He is also a founder and Chairman of the Board of Xyleme -- an XML tools company based in Saint-Cloud, France. François's career began in the academic world, both in Europe and in the US, in the field of relational and object-oriented databases.

After eighteen months of intensive restructuring, MandrakeSoft is showing extremely positive results: Revenue is up, while expenses have been drastically reduced. The company is now at the stage where it needs an experienced manager capable of taking it to the next level of development, while keeping the Open Source spirit which has always been one of MandrakeSoft's main strengths.

"We all feel that François is an excellent match with our company due to his strong business experience in the USA and in Europe. We also highly value his academic background, which is very close to the open source spirit." said Jacques Le Marois, Chairman and President of MandrakeSoft. He added: "We're all very excited that François has agreed to join MandrakeSoft as new CEO."

François Bancilhon stated: "Joining MandrakeSoft and the Linux world has already been an outstanding experience during my first weeks of presence. This was a new world for me, with an incredible level of energy and vision. Mandrake Linux is much more than just an operating system, it is a complete information system solution. The potential of Free Software and the Linux community are so powerful that I'm certain we're about to experience a radical visible movement within the computing industry. In the meantime, much can be done at MandrakeSoft to increase the business side of the company. I'm very excited to help MandrakeSoft become a major player in the IT field, and look forward to working with Jacques and the entire MandrakeSoft team."

SuSE Linux Names Richard Seibt as New CEO

SuSE Linux today announced the appointment of Richard Seibt as the company's new Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO, replacing Gerhard Burtscher.

Richard Seibt Burtscher, a turn-around specialist, joined SuSE in December, 2001. He completed the restructuring of the business and built a scalable infrastructure poised for growth. Burtscher aligned the company on indirect sales, increased channel delivery partners, pared product lines, and increased relationships with ISVs and IHVs. Burtscher is one of the founding executive leaders of UnitedLinux, an initiative that streamlines Linux development and certification around a global, uniform distribution of Linux designed for business.

Richard Seibt (50), will join the company on January 20, 2003 from his current role as a member of the Executive Board at United Internet AG. He will be charged with the further growth and expansion of the company.

Seibt brings 24 years of IT industry experience to SuSE Linux. Following graduation in business administration, Seibt began his career at IBM Germany. During his 20 year tenure at IBM, he held executive positions worldwide in Business Development, Sales and Marketing. He was CEO for IBM Software Sales and Marketing for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Later, as general manager, Sales and Marketing of IBM Software for North America, Seibt led Sales and Marketing efforts for OS/2 and IBM's middleware. Most recently, for the past four years, Seibt was a Executive Board member of German-based United Internet AG, where he held operational responsibility for several affiliates and the internationalization of United Internet and selected affiliates.

"SuSE Linux has made industrial history in the Linux market with innovative technologies and market-driven products," said Seibt. "SuSE has an excellent reputation with consumer and corporate customers, as well as ISVs and IHVs. SuSE has several key challenges in stepping up to the next level; First, to continue to push the international Linux standard, UnitedLinux. Second, to make use of the momentum in the market to extend with SuSE's partners, our penetration in medium-sized and large-sized corporate customers. Third, according to the Open Source principle, to offer private users and enterprises an alternative to the continuously increasing license costs of proprietary operating systems and standard office applications."

"I am pleased that we could reach our goals in a very short timeframe, even with the difficult macroeconomic climate today," said Burtscher. "We have created a solid foundation for SuSE's future growth. The new orientation of SuSE accomodates corporate users' as well as private users' demands. With its role as the product integrator of the UnitedLinux initiative, SuSE has the best requirements for a stable global growth at its disposal. With Richard Seibt, SuSE gets a new CEO that will meet and solve the upcoming challenges, together with SuSE's staff and partners, in the same successful way."

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