Burtscher, a turn-around specialist, joined SUSE in December, 2001. He completed the restructuring of the business and built a scalable infrastructure poised for growth. Burtscher aligned the company on indirect sales, increased channel delivery partners, pared product lines, and increased relationships with ISVs and IHVs. Burtscher is one of the founding executive leaders of UnitedLinux, an initiative that streamlines Linux development and certification around a global, uniform distribution of Linux designed for business.
Richard Seibt (50), will join the company on January 20, 2003 from his current role as a member of the Executive Board at United Internet AG. He will be charged with the further growth and expansion of the company.
Seibt brings 24 years of IT industry experience to SUSE Linux. Following graduation in business administration, Seibt began his career at IBM Germany. During his 20 year tenure at IBM, he held executive positions worldwide in Business Development, Sales and Marketing. He was CEO for IBM Software Sales and Marketing for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Later, as general manager, Sales and Marketing of IBM Software for North America, Seibt led Sales and Marketing efforts for OS/2 and IBM's middleware. Most recently, for the past four years, Seibt was a Executive Board member of German-based United Internet AG, where he held operational responsibility for several affiliates and the internationalization of United Internet and selected affiliates.
"SUSE Linux has made industrial history in the Linux market with innovative technologies and market-driven products," said Seibt. "SUSE has an excellent reputation with consumer and corporate customers, as well as ISVs and IHVs. SUSE has several key challenges in stepping up to the next level; First, to continue to push the international Linux standard, UnitedLinux. Second, to make use of the momentum in the market to extend with SUSE partners, our penetration in medium-sized and large-sized corporate customers. Third, according to the Open Source principle, to offer private users and enterprises an alternative to the continuously increasing license costs of proprietary operating systems and standard office applications."
"There was no doubt for the board of directors, that with the expert know how of SUSEstaff, their motivation and the existing product potential, SUSE Linux can be led to a profitable business concept," said Heinrich Rodewig, Chairman of SUSE board of directors. "Following a successful turn-around under the lead of Gerhard Burtscher, SUSE passes now to a new phase of growth. The board of directors is excited to have found in Richard Seibt the ideal successor to Gerhard Burtscher."
"I am pleased that we could reach our goals in a very short timeframe, even with the difficult macroeconomic climate today," said Burtscher. "We have created a solid foundation for SUSE future growth. The new orientation of SUSE accomodat es corporate users' as well as private users' demands. With its role as the product integrator of the UnitedLinux initiative, SUSE has the best requirements for a stable global growth at its disposal. With Richard Seibt, SUSE gets a new CEO that will meet and solve the upcoming challenges, together with SUSEstaff and partners, in the same successful way."
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