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Shuttleworth heir opens up on Ubuntu biz

Mar 15, 2010, 15:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Timothy Prickett Morgan)

"When you have Mark Shuttleworth as your backer, as commercial Linux distributor Canonical does, it is a bit like having money in the bank when the bank also believes fervently in your cause. It is a rare combination, and one that has allowed the Ubuntu project to reach out from its Linux desktop beginnings into commercial servers - and with the latest releases, cloudy infrastructure - without having the profit pressure that most startups have to deal with as they try to grow.

"While Shuttleworth may be the Self Appointed Benevolent Dictator For Life at the Ubuntu project, that does not mean that he is the best person to lead Canonical, the commercial entity behind Ubuntu, or even that Shuttleworth, having created digital certificate and security software vendor Thawte during the dot-com boom and selling it off to Verisign before the bust for $575m, wants to steer Canonical. He clearly doesn't, since Jane Silber, the long-time chief operating officer at Canonical, was tapped last December to replace Shuttleworth as CEO.

"Silber started her new job running the company on March 1. With the transition, an important and influential British software company founded by a South African is now being run by an American ex-pat. One who has been a software developer and senior manager and who was vice president of command and control systems at the C4 Systems subsidiary of General Dynamics."

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