06.21.19

The Linux Foundation’s New Vice Chair, Wim Coekaerts, Worked for Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft at 2:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wim Coekaerts

Summary: The Linux Foundation is boosting the Microsoft boosters (as above) and calls that “community”

More and more people, including very high-profile GNU/Linux publishers/advocates/developers, regularly ask us about the Linux Foundation (index in our wiki). Even as recently as last night. All the feedback is generally positive, i.e. they agree with what we say. I wrote about the demise of Linux.com in my blog the other day. Notice how the Foundation hasn’t said a single thing. Very secretive. Larry Augustin, who we’re told gave the Foundation control over the site, did not respond to my question about it.

“…perhaps the Foundation deemed it worthy/tactful to say something about “community” in a press release’s headline without demoting but actually promoting yet more corporate elements.”A relatively short time ago “LINUX.COM EDITORIAL STAFF” suddenty showed up (whoever that is). They haven’t posted a single article since April and this one too isn’t an article but a link. Is there any staff? Their staff told us that all writers and editors were, in effect, laid off or sacked. The staff (unnamed) linked to this new press release of the Foundation. According to this, the Linux Foundation Board (i.e. lots of proprietary software companies including Microsoft and Oracle) “Elects Longtime Community Members to Chair and Vice Chair”. Who are they? Community members? Not really. One millionaire comes from Oracle and until about a year ago he had worked for Microsoft. To be fair, it’s not clear why he left quite so fast, going back to his former employer, which isn’t FOSS-friendly either. Anyway, that’s the Vice Chair Wim Coekaerts. He worked for Microsoft. The Chair is Nithya Ruff, who is hardly “community”; she is a millionaire corporate executive (see career history). She hops from one proprietary giant to another.

We know some people who may know more about Coekaerts and his time at Microsoft because they spoke to him about it. But nobody wants to share information (they sort of acknowledge, but refrain from saying anything more). Why did he join? Why did he leave? Why does the Foundation call corporate people “community”? It just doesn’t want to understand what the GNU/Linux community really is. It can’t. There’s no community element in the Board anymore. Money talks. The Board is compromised. The likes of Oracle and Microsoft basically elected people who better suit their agenda and are unlikely to antagnise. In the Foundation’s own words:

The Linux Foundation today is announcing its new Board Chair Nithya Ruff and Vice Chair Wim Coekaerts, both of whom bring a long history of contribution, collaboration and developer advocacy to their new positions. Both existing board members, these new roles will allow them to deepen their stewardship and support for Linux and open source projects across industries.

How so? The Foundation now has “community” leadership that is only community by name. One of the two decided to go work for Microsoft and it’s an actual decision. It’s a choice, as nobody is born this way.

Our guess is as good as anybody else’s; perhaps the Foundation deemed it worthy/tactful to say something about “community” in a press release’s headline without demoting but actually promoting yet more corporate elements. They just don’t get it, do they?

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