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NewsForge: Linuxcare finally gets a permanent CEO; is he in time to save the ship?

Nov 14, 2001, 19:46 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols)
"Linux companies haven't had an easy time of it lately, but Linuxcare has had it worse than many. In April and May 2000, the CEO and CTO left under a cloud, the company was racked by internal power struggles, employees were laid off at a rapid pace and a much ballyhooed IPO had been put off indefinitely. And all of this was before the stock market fell apart.

Since then, the company has shrunk to about 50 employees from a high of approximately 280 and endured a February 2001 merger with TurboLinux that was called off in May in what could be called a corporate annulment rather than divorce. So why is Avery Lyford, former consultant in McKinsey & Company's Business Building Practice, CEO of Athena Communications Systems, and the man who launched IBM's PC Server product line, pleased as punch to be Linuxcare's first permanent CEO since Fernand Sarrat left in April 2000?

Because, he still believes in Linux. Lyford says, "Linux really is the best way to solve enterprise projects. This is like the early days of PCs -- Linux is the better way to get things done. We were in a place where we needed to have more faith than facts. Now, the facts support the faith. IBM's blessing of Linux has made it accepted in the church of enterprise computing."

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