May 23, 2005 3:15 PM PDT

Linux lab lays off programmers

The Open Source Development Labs, the organization that employs Linux leader Linus Torvalds, has laid off nearly a sixth of its staff as part of a shift to new priorities.

The group cut nine of its 57 staff and contractor positions, Chief Executive Stuart Cohen confirmed Monday. The cuts affected several programmers who worked on the open-source operating system as well as staff in sales, marketing, business development and internal computer operations.

The organization, which calls itself the "center of gravity" of the Linux movement, made the cuts as part of a plan to rebalance its work force. New priorities include the establishment of a European office and an expansion of Asian operations into China and Korea from today's base in Japan, said Nelson Pratt, director of marketing.

"We're a small enough organization that what would be a small change in focus for a bigger company has a large effect on us," Pratt said.

The nonprofit organization isn't dropping its programming efforts, however. It still employs Torvalds, a top deputy named Andrew Morton, and Chris Wright, who maintains a Linux security component. And "substantially more than half our employees are engineers," Cohen said.

OSDL, based in Beaverton, Ore., shepherds several efforts to improve Linux by gathering opinions from computing technology sellers and customers. The efforts focus on Linux on high-end servers, telecommunications equipment and desktop computers.

"We want to be the place where the users, the vendors and the community can come together (to discuss) technical issues, legal issues, business issues and market issues," Cohen said. "Our work groups are becoming the places where data center issues and desktop Linux issues get resolved. I think the 'center of gravity' is becoming more and more true."

Not all see OSDL's role the same way. Greg Kroah-Hartman, a high-ranking Linux programmer, disagreed with the "center of gravity" characterization on his blog Monday while drawing attention to the fact that some experienced kernel programmers now are looking for jobs.


Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Well, CNET IS Hiring
If the Oregon folks don't mind relocating.

" is Hiring

The team has career opportunities available for the right individuals. We are currently looking for Software Engineers. is programmed using a combination of open-source technologies including Spring, Velocity, MySQL as well as Java/JSP."
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Linus wasn't laid off -- whew!
With all the activity in the Linux space, did they really have to be laid off?

BTW, like Keith J. plugged his, I am hiring Linux/UNIX people. Check out my hot jobs at .
Posted by (34 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Do These Programmers Have An Interest In OS/2!
The "World" in the palm of our hands... If these programmers are comfortable working with OS/2 (Porting, J2EE and Applications Development experience will be required, relocating will not be necessary - if "work" schedules can be completed between the US and India, China it can be done within the Continential USA (nearshoring)) perhaps we can have some discussions. Are your contact info available today! How can you be contacted!!!
Posted by (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I did not know that it was still around outside ATM machines and old Usenet archives.
OS Wars
Posted by (34 comments )
Link Flag
It's all right
They'll just plug themselves into the open source movement for Linux.

That pays the bills, right?
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Reply Link Flag

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot



RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.