SUSE Linux today named three key executives and announced the selection of new public relations and marketing agencies - enhancing the company's worldwide marketing, technology and partnering capabilities.
Effective immediately, Juergen Geck, formerly vice president, Technology Partners, will be the company's Chief Technology Officer. Uwe Heine -- based in Oakland, California - joins SUSE as Chief Alliance Officer and Dr. Uwe Schmid joins SUSE as vice president, Business Development and Marketing. The company also tapped Burson-Marsteller and J. Walter Thompson to develop and implement an international, integrated branding and communications program.
"SUSE is bringing together the best of the open source community and now combining it with the business experience needed to drive the next economic quantum leap," said Richard Seibt, CEO, SUSE Linux. "These changes not only will enable us to continue to create the best open source technology available, but also to make the most from our partnerships, and to better communicate as a company."
Geck, 35, joined SUSE in 1997, and served since early 2000 as vice president Technology Partners. Geck built strong alliances with partners AMD, Fujitsu-Siemens-Computers, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Oracle and SAP. Geck built a framework for SUSE to cooperate with all major hardware vendors and CPU manufacturers. In 2002 he introduced SUSE Technology Partner Program to provide a scalable offering for all SUSE partners. Geck also helped design SUSE flagship product, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and its maintenance model, enabling the first enterprise Linux offering in the market. Geck holds a masters degree in production engineering from the University of Erlangen, Germany. Geck will be responsible for aligning and communicating the company's technology strategy.
Boris Nalbach, SUSE CTO since Jan 2002, has decided to leave the company in June to pursue other interests in the technology industry. Nalbach was instrumental in bringing an enterprise focus to SUSE Linux, shaping company and product strategy -- including championing SUSEsingle source code strategy and bringing a process-driven focus to business implementation. He was also essential in driving SUSE partnership focus, implementing customers' and technology partners' needs. He will continue to work on special business enablement projects for SUSE Linux.
Heine, 46, brings to SUSE more than fifteen years in IT and strategic alliance programs -- including ten years at Compaq and four years at Siebel Systems, where he served as director of a variety of alliance departments including HP Global Strategic Alliances, International Alliances, and Platform Alliances. He most recently served as director of HP Global Strategic Alliances at Siebel. Heine earned an MBA from Colorado State as a Fulbright Scholar, as well as a degree in international business/marketing from Fachhochschule Bielefeld, Germany.
Dr. Schmid, 40, joins SUSE from Mentor Graphics, where he worked as managing director for the company's data management systems business unit and had responsibility for business development, product strategy and development. Prior to that, he was vice president for product marketing and pricing at i2 Technologies in Dallas, Texas, where he oversaw the repositioning of i2's software. His other career experiences include senior leadership stints at SAP AG and McKinsey & Company. Schmid has a degree in physics from the University of Ulm in Germany and received a master's degree in science from Oregon State University on a Fulbright Scholarship and his doctorate at the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart, Germany.
Burson-Marsteller, a global leader in public relations and strategic communications, will work with SUSE Linux to build its brand in the media in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany as a leader in the Open Source community. Kevin Kutz, a director in Burson-Marsteller's Chicago Media Practice, will lead this effort with an international account team of professionals based in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, London and Frankfurt.
J. Walter Thompson, the world's fourth largest advertising agency, has been appointed as worldwide lead brand agency. J. Walter Thompson will work with SUSE to develop a strategic, worldwide branding campaign - including corporate identity, product branding and marketing and advertising campaigns. The agency brings significant experience with high tech, global accounts, including work with Siemens and Infineon.
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