The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit group dedicated to accelerating Linux's growth, announced on July 24 that it had tapped long-time Linux executive Marcus Rex to serve as CTO. Rex “will help drive new standardization and technical initiatives around Linux and promote Linux adoption more broadly,” the LF said.
Rex, who is on loan from Novell through the end of 2008, has been a leading proponent of Linux standardization throughout his career and brings strong technical leadership to the role, according to the LF.
In a statement, Rex said, “By unifying the resources of the greater Linux ecosystem, the Linux Foundation provides crucial standardization, promotion and collaboration services for the continued advancement of Linux. I look forward to working with members of the community and the Linux Foundation to ensure that the promise of Linux is delivered. We're at a very exciting time for the Linux market, and I'm pleased to be able to contribute to the Linux Foundation's work.”
LF Executive Director Jim Zemlin added, “We're extremely thrilled to have Markus Rex join our management team. Rex has been a leader in the Linux industry since the early days of Linux, having joined SUSE Linux AG in 1999 and making it one of the leading commercial distributions on the market today. We appreciate Novell's willingness to lend its technical and financial support to the community with this initiative and hope it serves as a model for the future. Much like open source development itself, this unique approach allows us to neutrally leverage talented personnel from the Linux ecosystem for the greater benefit of Linux Foundation members.”
As CTO, Rex will lead all technical initiatives, including oversight of the Linux Standard Base and workgroups such as Open Printing, LF said. He will also be the primary technical interface to LF members and to the LF's Technical Advisory Board. Upon completion of his tenure at the Linux Foundation, Rex will return to Novell, according to the LF.
This CTO position had been held by Ian Murdock, one of the founders of Debian Linux, but he left the LF (Linux Foundation) in March of this year to join Sun Microsystems as its chief operating platforms officer.
Rex has a long history of strategy and product management in the Linux arena, according to the LF's announcement. He joined Novell in February 2004 with Novell's acquisition of SUSE Linux AG. At Novell, he has served as VP and general manager for SUSE Linux, CTO for the Open Platform Solutions Group, and most recently as VP of services strategy.
Rex joined SUSE Linux AG in 1999, serving as head of development and later as VP of research and development, where he oversaw SUSE's growth from 15 engineers in 1999 to more than 200 in 2004. During this period, Rex brought SUSE into the Embedded Linux Consortium as a top-level member. Rex has previously served as a board member to both the Free Standards Group and the Linux Foundation. Prior to joining SUSE, Rex worked in the department of Computer Science at the University of Erlangen and as an IT consultant at Philips in Prague.
The Linux Foundation, whose primary mission is to accelerate the growth of Linux, was founded in 2007 through the merger of the OSDL (Open Source Development Labs) and the FSG (Free Standards Group). It sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds, and is in turn supported by leading Linux and open source companies and developers from around the world. More information is available here.
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