OSDL refocuses efforts, loses CEO

Refocusing on a narrower range of projects, Open Source Development Labs has laid off one-third of its staff and its CEO has resigned

Open Source Development Labs, the nonprofit Linux development consortium, has cut its staff and will focus on a narrower range of activities.

OSDL has laid off just under a third of its staff, with employee numbers in the U.S. and Asia falling from 28 to 19, along with the resignation of Stuart Cohen, the lab's high-profile chief executive officer.

The consortium will now be headed by Mike Temple, former OSDL chief financial officer, who becomes chief operating officer.

The main impact of the cuts will see OSDL focus on fewer future projects, lessening the consortium's need for testing and engineering resources, the consortium said in a statement issued Monday.

When OSDL was founded in 2000, one of its main tasks was to evangelize Linux and encourage vendor and user deployments through the provision of computing and test facilities to developers around the world. Since the open-source operating system is now firmly established as a major technology, the consortium, which has more than 70 global members, feels it's time to shift the focus of its resources. OSDL members include Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Nokia, Novell and Red Hat.

OSDL will continue to sponsor the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and others who work on Linux and will encourage closer collaboration between OSDL members, others in the open-source community and end-users. The lab plans to ramp up its efforts in providing additional legal support for Linux and open-source technology around increasingly complex licensing and patent issues.

OSDL wished Cohen well as he begins a new venture to explore how best to apply lessons learned in open-source collaboration and community building to foster joint software development between industry consortia, government agencies and IT vendors. Cohen will be working with venture capital firm OVP Venture Partners, which has offices in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle.

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