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18 May 2011, 17:16

New SUSE chief: openSUSE is very prominent in my thinking

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SUSE logo Attachmate's SUSE division has confirmed, as The H reported three weeks ago, that Nils Brauckmann is the new head of the freshly created business unit which will be headquartered in Nuremberg. For the first time, The H talked with Brauckmann about his new position and how the changes in the SUSE division will affect openSUSE. The H pointed out to Brauckmann that there was only one mention of openSUSE in the press release on SUSE and that might be taken to mean that the open source version of SUSE Linux was being downgraded.

He replied that openSUSE was very prominent in the company's thinking saying "Frankly the opposite will be the case" and that SUSE understood the value of the openSUSE community and working with the wider open source community. Inside the company "many people are very happy with the renewed focus and the revitalised brand" said Brauckmann, who also pointed out that many SUSE developers are also openSUSE contributors. He hoped to enable them to make more effective contributions in future by providing tools to help enhance and automate Q&A, build and test processes too. Support can also include funding too he noted and, as an example, SUSE will be funding this year's openSUSE conference.

Brauckmann admits that he had very limited exposure to open source in his previous roles but is "on a steep learning curve". He does bring experience as a general manager of business units of a similar revenue to the new SUSE unit, experience that he believes will be useful as the SUSE unit will be an independent unit responsible for everything from development to sales to support. He's also talked with people both inside and outside the company about working with communities and getting "enough inputs" to help shape his thinking. "I know the special requirements of the community. I know we will be co-developing with the community in what I hope will be a lasting partnership with mutual benefit."


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