Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

Summary: Asay leaves Canonical to joining Strobe, an early stage open-source start-up.

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TOPICS: CXO, Open Source
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In an unexpected move, Matt Asay, Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, will be leaving Ubuntu. In an e-mail to me, Asay, former VP of Business Development at Alfresco, the open-source enterprise Content Management System (CMS), told me that the news of his depature from Canonical would be be announced internally at Canonical today, December 8th. Asay is leaving Canonical, because “Basically, I needed to get back to a customer-facing role but hadn't realized that until my good friend, Bryce Roberts, pinged me about a company he had invested in (Strobe). I hadn't been looking around but agreed to meet with Charles [Jolley], the founder.” Strobe has already raised $2.5M from Tim O'Reilly's venture fund, O'Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures (OATV) and Hummer Winblad. The company is using the money to build a platform for delivering touch-driven web applications, based around the open-source SproutCore framework and HTML5. Asay continued, “It's a very early stage company (founded in July) and as we talked, I realized that much of what they needed was what I had enjoyed so much at Alfresco: early spadework with customers and partners, plus figuring out business models and evangelizing new ways to be open. It didn't hurt that that company's early focus is on the publishing industry, a market and challenge I love." He explained, “The decision, then, was more about finding a good role for me and my family than Canonical, which has grown sales ~300% each quarter (year over year) since I've been here. The opportunities at Canonical are real, near-term, and very big. I was involved in helping to grow them at Canonical but not as much as I'd like. With 400 people in the company, Canonical is not a startup anymore. I want to get back to the very early stage growth that Strobe offers.” Assay is leaving with Canonical's best wishes. In an e-mail, Jane Silber, Canonical's CEO, told me that “Unfortunately for us, Matt will be leaving Canonical December 17 for the lure of an early-stage start-up. While his time here has been relatively short, we all appreciate the positive impact he has had in many areas and I will personally be very sorry to see him go.”
Matt is joining Strobe, an early stage start-up at the nexus of open source and the open web, much like Matt himself. He will be taking a senior business development position, and that opportunity provides an irresistible forum for him to exercise his skills in a customer-facing role at a small start-up.

While we will miss Matt, Canonical operations remain strong. We will recruit to replace Matt, hoping to find someone who carries on his love of Dilbert cartoons and The Smiths! We all wish Matt well in his new adventure.

No other changes are expected at Canonical at this time as the company continues to work towards its next release of Ubuntu.

Topics: CXO, Open Source

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  • Deleted

    Deleted
    statuskwo5
  • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

    I think this will not affect Canonical and Ubuntu development very much. After all when one person leaves another one comes to replace him/her.
    statuskwo5
  • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

    Looks like the IT world just received an early Christmas present. More and more people are jumping the linux ship as we see here. You know linux is in very deep trouble when the top two quit their jobs. The first was Mark Shuttleworth quitting now Matt Asay. Must be something in that linux code that is turning people away from it. No need to recommend linux now considering its getting abandoned at a very quick rate and no one to support it. I will just have to tell people to find an alternative to linux. Oh and it won't break my heart to tell them that news.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

      @Loverock Davidson
      Child. What the heck is your problem ? I realize you're an American & thus hard of thinking, but c'mon. Really.
      chuckleberry
      • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

        @chuckleberry
        Alan Henry (aka Loverock Davison)
        Alan?s own blogs not getting any hits, so he comes over to ZDNET to write garbage.

        Alan knows Canonical/Ubuntu doing fine. He wishes is host would change over from Debian to Ubuntu.
        daikon
      • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

        @chuckleberry
        I don't have a problem. You need to accept the truth.
        Loverock Davidson
      • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

        @chuckleberry :
        you said it with the first word "child" - he has never and will never mature, his mental age will keep matching his shoe size.
        deaf_e_kate
      • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

        @chuckleberry
        Nice to know you find my nationality as being some sort of insult. I find people that stereotype "hard of thinking"... wait a minute... did I just stereotype stereotyping people? When you get done running in circles on that one... please tell us you country of origin. I'm sure we can find something funny to say about it!
        MikeyTheUnderdog
      • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

        @chuckleberry daikon - I think you're one of the many people who have this person mixed up with me. I'm Alan Henry, writer of several blogs hosted by Dreamhost (who I think you may be thinking of, since they use Debian). I assure you and everyone else in this community, I'm not this person.

        A few people emailed me to warn me that this Loverock Davidson person is using my name to troll ZDNet blogs, and I've opened a ticket with ZDNet support about it, but I don't think there's much they can do to help me. All I can do is come in here and try to clear my name. I normally don't even participate at this site.

        I'm sorry for whatever confusion this person is bringing with their trolling but please - we're not the same person.
        alanhenry
    • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

      @Lovercock Davidson
      Yeah, keep on dreaming.

      Where is Dana Blackhorn (whatever his surname was), that guy is an idiot if ZDnet got rid of him, thumbs up. He had no idea about opensource, he was not using it as a platform, but was writing nonsense like Lovercock Davison.
      lass23
      • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

        @lass23
        I don't have to dream, this is reality. More and more stories talking about the demise of linux.
        Loverock Davidson
      • I don't have to dream

        @Lovercock Davidson<br><br>I do<s>n't</s> have <s>to</s> dream(s)<br><br>To bad they are only wet ones.
        Alan Henry
    • Mark Shuttleworth still works for Canonical, just not as CEO!

      @Loverock Davidson

      "he would step down as CEO of Canonical to focus energy on product design, partnership and customers."

      He wanted to get more hands on than he could as CEO, but still very much involved with Canonical and Ubuntu, no jumping ship!

      Sounds like Matt Asay has done the same, he's helping a new startup. The difference being he has actually left Canoical where as Mark Shuttleworth has not!

      Please Loverock get your facts straight before posting!
      DevJonny
      • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

        @DevJonny
        My facts are straight, Mark Shuttleworth QUIT HIS JOB. Plain and simple.
        Loverock Davidson
      • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

        @DevJonny
        Alan (aka Loverock)
        His comment is another cut and paste from previous comments. Just added a few words. Alan knows Mark Shuttleworth runs Canonical.
        daikon
      • Just Like Bill Gates Before Him

        Mark Shuttleworth quit his job just like Bill Gates quit his a few years back. Looks like Microsoft must be a sinking ship then too.
        CFWhitman
    • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

      @Loverock Davidson <br><br>Hello Loverock Davidson, how are you doing today? Feeling better?<br><br>
      Alan Henry
      • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

        @Alan Henry <br>Nice try.... try harder next time
        Not classy enough.
        daikon
      • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

        @Daikon
        I agree, Not a real classy geek.
        choyongpil
      • RE: Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

        @daikon<br><br>daikon is "Linux Rocks"'s alter ego<br>Alan Henry is "Loverock Davidson"'s alter ego<br><br>Sounds confusing?, I know. Just let it marinate for a bit.<br>This "AH" is well educated, unlike my alter ego that can not construct a chain of thoughts if you payed him.<br><br><i>--"A nickname is the heaviest stone that the devil can throw at a man. William Hazlitt (1778-1830)--"</i>
        Alan Henry