Today, SUSE Linux, the international Open Source technology leader and solutions provider, announced the appointment of a second Executive Board member: on December 1, 2001, Gerhard Burtscher, an experienced IT manager, assumes the position of Chief Executive Officer and the responsibility for the five newly created Business Units of SuSE. After having assumed CEO tasks during the refocusing of the company, Johannes Nussbickel returns to his original function as CFO, heading Finance and Administration.
"We are convinced that Gerhard Burtscher represents the ideal reinforcement for the SUSE Executive Board. Following the successful completion of our refocusing process, we are now going to step up our efforts to guide SUSE Linux back to a stable course of growth," said SuSE Executive Board member Johannes Nussbickel, commenting the appointment.
Heinrich Rodewig, J.D., Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SUSE Linux, added: "In the course of his career, Gerhard Burtscher repeatedly gained success in projects aimed at the rapid and structured establishment of new business units, as well as the reorganization of existing structures through extensive analysis and concentration on results, customers, and employees. Both subjects are of utmost importance for the further development and growth of SUSE Linux."
Gerhard Burtscher has been active in the IT and telecommunication sector for more than 20 years. He began his career in the Marketing division of Nixdorf Computer AG and held executive positions at Texas Instruments, Digital Equipment, MIPS Technologies, Silicon Graphics, and Siemens-Nixdorf. The focal points of his activity were marketing, sales, and controlling. Since 1995, his main field of activity has been the establishment of European subsidiaries for international technology providers. During his career he gained extensive national and international experience as Managing Director and Business Unit Manager with these companies.
Regarding his decision for SUSE Linux AG, Gerhard Burtscher said: "With the know-how of its staff and the high degree of maturity of its products, SUSE is ideally positioned for the dynamic growth of Linux in enterprises. The high level of acceptance of the company, which is obvious from the partnerships with the world's leading platform and technology providers, points to the high degree of 'presentability' of SUSE Linux solutions for deployment in large international corporations. My challenge and one of the most attractive aspects of my tasks is to transform each employee's great passion for technology into a powerful financial base, viable on a long-term basis."
Customer-Oriented Refocusing Process Constitutes Basis for Long-Term Growth
SUSE Linux AG has completed its refocusing process that started in October, 2001. Under the supervision of Johannes Nussbickel, the functional structure consisting of Sales, Marketing, Support, Development, Finance, and Organization was dissolved. Henceforth, five cost-transparent Business Units handle the diverse customer segments according to the specific needs of the respective target groups:
- The "Qualified Users" division addresses technically skilled private users with the product lines of SUSE Linux and SUSE Press.
- The "Business Users" division offers largely pre-configured solution products from the range of "SUSE Business Solutions" for small and medium-scale enterprises.
- The business unit named "Corporate Users" presents a comprehensive range of consulting, development, implementation, and training services for large enterprises such as Lycos Europe, T-Online, and DG Capital.
- The fourth division, "Governmental and Institutional Users", addresses government offices and public administrations.
- The business unit named "Technology Partners" focuses on development services and technology transfer for IT providers like AMD, Compaq, IBM, Intel, Oracle, SAP, and SGI.
Commenting the refocusing process, Nussbickel said: "Our previous functional structure served our needs very well at the time. The changes in today's market situation called for changes within that structure. This is why we decided to create cost-transparent business units with independent responsibility for their budgets. We are convinced that this target group-oriented structure can communicate the quality of SUSEs products and services more effectively throughout all market segments. Facing lower IT budgets and limited economic prospects, enterprises increasingly look for stable, reliable and affordable IT solutions that meet present and future needs."
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