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BeOpen.com: Interview with Volker Wiegand of SuSE, Inc.

Jun 26, 2000, 15:26 (0 Talkback[s])

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"Volker Wiegand is no accidental tourist. As president of SuSE, Inc., the Oakland, Calif.-based subsidiary of SuSE GmBH, it's his assignment to make sure the U.S. side of the SuSE empire runs as smoothly as the German side. No ifs, ands or buts. Still, when it comes to running a German-led company on the outskirts of one of America's most famous high tech regions, Wiegand is mindful of the baggage that accompanied him on his Trans-Atlantic journey. Taking great pains to distance himself from the traditional Hollywood stereotype, Wiegand paints himself as less of a commander and more of a student traveling abroad, learning as much as he can about American business culture before returning to the old country."

"I think a company like ours will be even more successful in the future, because we try to understand the differences [between cultures], and we try to get the best out of all worlds," he says. "This is far from believing that the German way is superior. It was before my time, but I believe this is a lesson we Germans have learned over the last century."

"A Linux user since the days of the 0.11 kernel, Wiegand seems to have a jump start on the lessons of the next century. Although he and his company seemed to be sleeping during last year's IPO rush, they also missed out on the resulting letdown as investors grew quickly frustrated with Linux-related companies. Now, with a solid customer base and a development team that truly merits the description "international," his company is poised to graduate as one of the Linux community's first truly profitable companies."

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