Shuttleworth steps down as Ubuntu CEO

Mark Shuttleworth announced in a press call yesterday that he will step down from his role as CEO of Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu operating system, but will remain involved in the Ubuntu project itself. Taking his place will be Jane Silber, who has been with Canonical since 2004.

As reported by Computer World, Shuttleworth said in an interview that he intends to stay head of the Ubuntu Community Council and the Ubuntu Technical Board, and that instead of managing the business, he will be "Working closely on product design and our enterprise customers."

"I will also be working more closely with partners, especially in Asia. I will also work more closely with larger enterprise customers in our new cloud offerings. I will be spending more time on the areas that interest me the most and where I feel I can do the most good," he added.

"I will focus on my 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."

This does not mean that Ubuntu or Canonical will be changing their goals. Shuttleworth will still set the goals, but Silber will implement the strategies required to reach them, as well as managing the day-to-day business. Shuttleworth also stated that the move is not a case of preparing to take Canonical public soon, but more about ensuring the right people are in the best places they should be for the benefit of Canonical and Ubuntu.

In a yet to be published blog, Silber said that "This move will bring about is a clearer separation of the role of CEO of Canonical and the leader of the Ubuntu community. It will be two different people now, which I think will be helpful in both achieving their joint and individual goals more quickly."

The changeover from Shuttleworth to Silber will be completed by March 1st, 2010.

Thanks to markjensen for the news tip.

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15 Comments

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"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."

Pretty strong words!!
They'll be buying Google next or partnering with them in their mission to own and control the internet!!

Actually,
This should benefit Ubuntu as from what I understand, the field Shuttleworth is going into, is more his bag.

Buying Google? Nope. That won't happen.

Partnering might though, but why would they (Google), Ubuntu's source code is free & they have tons of programmers.

They're already partnered with google. If you used Ubuntu recently, you would notice the home page is a custom google search which transmits their partner ID. Thus they receive a slice of the revenue whenever anyone submits a search, in much the same way as Mozilla does.

Well, he'll still be a part of the Ubuntu community/organization. I suppose he may just be interested in taking on slightly different challenges. Maybe he simply got tired of the CEO role, and want to work closer with their customers instead. It doesn't have to be more complicated than that.

Very true, I just didn't know if it was for anything bigger. Like I said, I'm not up on Canonicals in-house politics, so I didn't know if there was something more to it.

Is there any reason why he is leaving? It seems quite out the blue, although I confess that I'm not up to speed on the state of Canonical politics.

Majesticmerc said,
Is there any reason why he is leaving? It seems quite out the blue, although I confess that I'm not up to speed on the state of Canonical politics.

Windows 7 is getting to popular, thats why! lol.

Who knows what is going on internally. But the article seems to suggest that he just wants to be involved more on the technical side of Ubuntu. CEOs don't have as much fun as some people might think...

smithy_dll said,
He isn't leaving, just changing roles, read TFA.

He's leaving his post as CEO at canonical, that's what I mean. No need to be a douchebag.

Manmohanjit Singh said,
Windows 7 is getting to popular, thats why! lol.

very funny. Looks like he wants to be in the position to make the product better. Prefer Vista to ubuntu, but ubuntu to 7 in some aspects. Windows 7 still needs a service pack before it's even promising and Vista SP2 is flawless.