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Richard Brown: Changing of the Guard

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SUSE

After six years on the openSUSE Board and five as its Chairperson, I have decided to step down as Chair of the openSUSE Board effective today, August 19.

This has been a very difficult decision for me to make, with reasons that are diverse, interlinked, and personal. Some of the key factors that led me to make this step include the time required to do the job properly, and the length of time I’ve served. Five years is more than twice as long as any of my predecessors. The time required to do the role properly has increased and I now find it impossible to balance the demands of the role with the requirements of my primary role as a developer in SUSE, and with what I wish to achieve outside of work and community. As difficult as it is to step back from something I’ve enjoyed doing for so long, I am looking forward to achieving a better balance between work, community, and life in general.

Serving as member and chair of the openSUSE Board has been an absolute pleasure and highly rewarding. Meeting and communicating with members of the project as well as championing the cause of openSUSE has been a joyous part of my life that I know I will miss going forward.

openSUSE won’t get rid of me entirely. While I do intend to step back from any governance topics, I will still be working at SUSE in the Future Technology Team. Following SUSE’s Open Source policy, we do a lot in openSUSE. I am especially looking forward to being able to focus on Kubic & MicroOS much more than I have been lately.

As I’m sure it’s likely to be a question, I wish to make it crystal clear that my decision has nothing to do with the Board’s ongoing efforts to form an independent openSUSE Foundation.

The Board’s decision to form a Foundation had my complete backing as Chairperson, and will continue to have as a regular openSUSE contributor. I have absolute confidence in the openSUSE Board; Indeed, I don’t think I would be able to make this decision at this time if I wasn’t certain that I was leaving openSUSE in good hands.

On that note, SUSE has appointed Gerald Pfeifer as my replacement as Chair. Gerald is SUSE’s EMEA-based CTO, with a long history as a Tumbleweed user, an active openSUSE Member, and upstream contributor/maintainer in projects like GCC and Wine.

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Reposted in OpenSUSE's site now

  • Changing the Chair of the openSUSE Board

    Gerald has been a regular source of advice & support during my tenure as Chairperson. In particular, I will always remember my first visit to FOSDEM as openSUSE Chair.
    Turning up more smartly dressed than usual, I was surprised to find Gerald, a senior Director at SUSE, diving in to help at the incredibly busy openSUSE booth, and doing so dressed in quite possibly the oldest and most well-loved openSUSE T-shirt I’ve ever seen.
    When booth visitors came with questions about SUSE-specific stuff, I think he took some glee in being able to point them in my direction while teasingly saying “Richard is the corporate guy here, I’m just representing the community..”

    Knowing full well he will continue being so community minded, while finally giving me the opportunity to tease him in return, it is with a similar glee I now hand over the reigns to Gerald.

    As much as I’m going to miss things about being chairperson of this awesome community, I’m confident and excited to see how openSUSE evolves from here.

Corbet at LWN

openSUSE Boards Gets A New Chairman

  • openSUSE Boards Gets A New Chairman

    Long-time openSUSE contributor Richard Brown is stepping down from his role as chairperson of openSUSE board, a position he had been holding for the last five years. He will be replaced by Gerald Pfeifer, SUSE’s CTO for EMEA. Gerald himself is a developer who has contributed to projects like like GCC and Wine.

    In a blog post, Brown said, “Some of the key factors that led me to make this step include the time required to do the job properly, and the length of time I’ve served. Five years is more than twice as long as any of my predecessors. The time required to do the role properly has increased and I now find it impossible to balance the demands of the role with the requirements of my primary role as a developer in SUSE, and with what I wish to achieve outside of work and community.”

Gerald Pfeifer Appointed Chair Of The openSUSE Board

  • Gerald Pfeifer Appointed Chair Of The openSUSE Board

    Seasoned open source leader Gerald Pfeifer has been appointed chair of the openSUSE board. Pfeifer’s new responsibilities will begin immediately and run concurrently with his role as SUSE CTO in EMEA. Current chair Richard Brown, who was appointed in July 2014, is resigning after five years of service for a combination of personal reasons and his desire to focus on his career at SUSE, from where he will continue his contribution to openSUSE. Brown and Pfeifer will work closely together to transition responsibilities.

Press release about this

  • Gerald Pfeifer Appointed Chair of the openSUSE Board

    Current chair Richard Brown, who was appointed in July 2014, is resigning after five years of excellent service for a combination of personal reasons and his desire to focus on his career at SUSE®, from where he will continue his contribution to openSUSE. Brown and Pfeifer will work closely together to transition responsibilities.

    The openSUSE board, with Pfeifer's support, will continue to provide input, governance and assistance to the openSUSE Project, the developer of leading infrastructure software and application delivery tools, including several Linux operating systems.

    Based in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, Pfeifer, in his role as SUSE CTO, is charged with leading strategic dialogue with customers, partners and open source communities globally. He was previously responsible for the creation and progression of SUSE's broad portfolio of open source enterprise software.

    "I could not be more excited and humbled to participate in the openSUSE Project as board chair," Pfeifer said. "Collaboration in the openSUSE community has contributed to remarkable Linux distributions, and I'm looking forward to ongoing growth in both the community and the openSUSE distributions – Linux and beyond – and tools. openSUSE is at the leading edge of a historic shift, as open source software is now a critical part of any thriving enterprise's core business strategy. This is an exciting time for the openSUSE community as well as open source at large."

    SUSE is deeply committed to openSUSE's development model and to being a sponsor and supporter of the project. This partnership has created a unique and deeply collaborative working relationship that can be seen in projects like Open Build Service and openQA. While the relationship has its roots in Linux, in recent years it has expanded as a growing number of new infrastructure software standards are built on and from open source innovation. As the world's largest independent open source company, SUSE will continue its support for openSUSE.

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