- By Robin 'Roblimo' Miller -
According to a press release issued this morning (complete text below) the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL), "a global consortium of leading technology companies dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux in enterprise computing," has appointed its first CEO. Lab director Tim "wookie"' Witham will continue to hold his current position and will still be the primary tech contact. Stu Cohen, the new CEO, will concentrate on corporate Linux evangelism. We had a brief AIM chat with Cohen Friday. He didn't have much to say; he's only been on the job for a few days, after all. But it's nice to see a new face in charge of this valuable Linux and Open Source organization, and to learn a little bit about him.
Open source has had very little "professional" advocacy until recently. Isn't this part of OSDL's mission?
We are going to focus on [Linux advocacy aimed at] the Global 2000 [The world's 2000 largest corporations - Ed.]. I believe we can be subject matter experts and advocates and as a result they will make larger investments in Linux.
NewsForge: OSDL already has a fairly impressive sponsor list; may I assume you're going to be ratcheting up the search for additional sponsors?
Cohen: Yes, we are interested in increasing our membership from a wide variety of participants in the Linux industry.
NewsForge: I know it's probably too early to ask this, but what kinds of companies do you expect to go to for support -- that aren't already sponsors?
Cohen: Large, medium, small businesses, Software, Services, Support, Distributions...
NewsForge: The corporate sponsors page on the OSDL Website says, "Financial commitments for sponsorship begin at $10,000 per year." Isn't that a bit steep for smaller businesses?
Cohen: I haven't heard of this being a problem for companies interested in Linux that want to become a member of our organization but it has just been a few days for me in the job.
NewsForge: We understand. ... Will you be increasing staff, especially marketing staff?
Cohen: I am still meeting all of the people but I do have some big goals, as we mentioned in the press release.
NewsForge: How do you think "the community"' will react to having a marketing person instead of a techie heading OSDL?
Cohen: We have Tim Witham heading the "community relations" if you will and many other developers working closely with the community on Linux projects. I bring a different skill set and background which is very complementary to Tim and the OSDL team. Nothing is changing from the past but our charter is expanding. My hope is that we are successful advancing Linux and the community will get the benefit.
NewsForge: Obviously, you come from more of an "executive suite" background than wookie. What kind of reaction do you get from people you know at that end of the corporate scale about increased use of Linux and Open Source?
Cohen: It is growing very rapidly but there are customers that are still looking for further pieces of the solution. This is what attracted me to OSDL and the difference we can make.
NewsForge: Do you have plans to get a Kewl H@x0R nickname? :)
Cohen: Any suggestions? My mom still likes Stuart Cohen. :-)
Complete text of OSDL press release announcing Cohen's appointment:
corporate Linux advocacy organization names new CEO
selects veteran IBM networking and RadiSys telecommunications
executive Stuart Cohen for top job
OR, April 21, 2003 – OSDL, a global consortium of leading
technology companies dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux
in enterprise computing, today announced that Stuart F. Cohen has
been named Chief Executive Officer. Cohen brings more than 22 years
of computer industry business development, sales and marketing
experience to OSDL, along with a proven track record of achieving
consistent, sustainable growth and market leadership for the
organizations he has led.
understands the importance and promise of Linux to enterprise
customers, open source developers and our sponsors at OSDL,”
said Ross Mauri, Vice President Development, IBM Systems Group and
President of the OSDL Board of Directors. “His front-line
experience with data center customers at IBM and his
telecommunications industry business development experience at
RadiSys give him a unique and valuable perspective to advance the
mission of OSDL and build upon our current success.”
by Computer Associates, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel, NEC and other
leading enterprise computing companies, OSDL provides engineering and
technical assistance to Linux developers worldwide with
state-of-the-art data centers in Japan and the United States. OSDL
also coordinates technical working groups focused on hardening Linux
for data center and carrier-grade computing environments.
to market research firm IDC, Linux is expected to be the
fastest-growing category in operating system environment revenue over
the next five years, with a compound annual growth rate of 28
of the factors slowing the growth rate for Linux has been customer
concerns around features important in enterprise computing,”
said Dan Kusnetzky, Vice President of the System Software search
group at IDC. “Organizations such as OSDL have been targeting
these issues to help accelerate Linux use in corporations.”
the last few years I have seen a growing trend driving Linux into the
data center and telecommunication environments,” Cohen said.
“The increasing customer interest and respect for OSDL’s
mission is what attracted me to this organization. One of my roles
will be to broaden our mandate and help bring Linux to an even more
receptive customer base.”
accepting the appointment to CEO, Cohen set three major goals for
the use of Linux and Linux-based applications;
increase the number of sponsors and attract new Global 2000
corporations to join OSDL;
and expand OSDL's leadership role in championing Linux-based
development projects for business-critical applications.
to joining OSDL, Cohen was Vice President of Marketing and Business
Development and a corporate officer at RadiSys Corporation where his
responsibilities included strategic partnership development. Before
that he served as Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and as a
corporate officer at InFocus Corporation. His industry experience
includes 17 years with IBM where he held senior positions in sales
and marketing at the personal computer and networking divisions,
including international experience in Europe, Southeast Asia and
in 2000, OSDL is dedicated to accelerating the growth and adoption of
Linux in the enterprise. Backed by a global consortium of industry IT
leaders, OSDL is headquartered outside Portland, Oregon. It provides
state-of the-art computing facilities in the United States and Japan
available to developers around the world. OSDL sponsors include
Alcatel, Cisco, Computer Associates, Dell, Ericsson, Force Computers,
Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Linuxcare, Miracle Linux
Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric, MontaVista Software, NEC
Corporation, Nokia, Red Hat, SuSE, Toshiba and VA Software. Visit
OSDL on the Web at www.osdl.org.
is a trademark of Open Source Development Labs, Inc. Linux is a
trademark of Linus Torvalds. Third party marks and brands are the
property of their respective holders.
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