|Mark Shuttleworth to step down as Canonical CEO|
South African entrepreneur and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has announced on his blog that he intends step down as CEO in March 2010 to focus his Canonical energy on product design, partnerships and customers, areas that he enjoys most. He would be succeeded by COO Jane Silber, while Canonical hires a COO and a new lead for Ubuntu One.
Silber is presently Chief Operating Officer and Director of Online Services at Canonical. She joined Canonical in 2004 and has been closely involved in the establishment and management of most Canonical functions including Ubuntu One, OEM Services, Corporate Services, Marketing, Finance, Legal and others. An American, she started her career as a software developer and has since held engineering and senior management positions at companies as diverse as a health and wellness promotion start up, a large technology and manufacturing company in Japan, and the US defence contractor General Dynamics.
In a blog post on Canonical's website, Jane Silber said, “As Mark Shuttleworth has announced I will have the privilege of leading Canonical from March of next year. I am excited about the role, energised by the opportunities in front of us, and humbled by the collection of amazing and talented individuals in Canonical and the Ubuntu community. Mark will continue to play a major role in Canonical, and we expect this to be a smooth transition. We are making the announcement now in order to help ensure that.”
In the same blog on Canonical's website, Shuttleworth elaborated on his role, saying that he chose to focus on his passions of product design and development. “I want Ubuntu to succeed as the open platform of choice for almost all use types whether on netbook, notebook, desktop, server, embedded device or wherever people compute. That is a large undertaking and being able to focus on that, thanks to Jane, is a great privilege. I will also spend more time talking to and visiting partners and customers about what they demand from an open platform and feeding that back into the product through the community and Canonical.” Shuttleworth said he is “more committed now than I have ever been” to the Ubuntu project, and “will continue to be engaged, will fund the project as needed, and have the opportunity now to focus on the areas where I can make the biggest impact.”
Shuttleworth founded the Ubuntu project in 2004, well after moving to London in 2001 and beginning preparations for the First African in Space mission, training in Star City and Khazakstan. In April 2002 Mark flew in space, as a cosmonaut member of the crew of Soyuz mission TM34 to the International Space Station.