Bonum Certa Men Certa

Canonical is Hiring Mono Developers, Losing COO

Matt Asay in clouds



Summary: Matt Asay, Canonical's COO, is moving to a proprietary software company, but a Mono coup continues as the company's HR department makes dubious judgment regarding some developer recruits

Canonical has been hiring from Microsoft and its outgoing COO had also considered working for Microsoft some years ago. What is Canonical thinking? Then there is the Mono issue. Canonical ended up hiring the GNOME-Do (Mono-based) developer, who is now using Vala to create Unity. Yes, it's that divergence from GNOME Shell, which OMG!Ubuntu!, a Mono booster at times, suggests should use the Mono-based Docky. "Holy crap," writes mohanpram in Identica, "Docky is awesome, and I can see where Unity's dock is getting its juice (from Docky's creator of course)!" According to this post:



As an aside, Jason who created Docky now works for Canonical.


Recently, Canonical also ended up adding Novell's Banshee, which is based on Mono. We wrote about it in posts such as:



Here is some new Banshee boosting from OMG!Ubuntu!:

Banshee will be sat on millions of Ubuntu desktops next april as Ubuntu 11.04′s default music player – but some users think it could do with looking a little bit more native.


Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza is meanwhile producing more tools for Moonlight (not just Mono) [1, 2] and heckling our Web site over at Twitter (in the most immature of ways). Had he had a rebuttal to facts we publish, he would not have to resort to childish cartoons, which as a 'defence' is pretty telling. It's weak. They attack the messenger.

“As a user of Ubuntu since its very first release, all these recent moves are utterly disappointing and I find myself increasingly installing Fedora for people.”In other important news, Canonical's COO is moving to a proprietary software company (dressed up as "open", like Apple) after he almost accepted a job at Microsoft. He sure got some heat from the likes of Bradley Kuhn (FSF) for Canonical's strategy with copyrights, for example. "I miss being in the trenches," he says in his blog, but isn't that where he was while working for Canonical? Jane Silber, the CEO, says goodbye and Mark Shuttleworth, currently based in London, recently bought a house in New York, according to one report. As a user of Ubuntu since its very first release, all these recent moves are utterly disappointing and I find myself increasingly installing Fedora for people. Why can't Canonical at least hire correctly? Are they begging for entryism? Or are the HR people themselves already indifferent or hostile towards the notions of software freedom while not bearing in mind that Microsoft attacks GNU/Linux like no other company does?

Either way, Techrights never thought that Asay becoming Canonical's COO was a good idea (he was a Mac user and GNU/Linux critic at the time). His departure is now covered in:

i. Matt Asay leaving Canonical

Matt Asay has announced that after only ten months he has officially resigned from Canonical. Asay, after leaving Alfresco joined Canonical in February of this year as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). He confirmed that he will be taking a senior business development position at early-stage HTML5 startup Strobe "to focus on building the open web".


ii. Well-known, open-source advocate Matt Asay leaves Canonical/Ubuntu

In an unexpected move, Matt Asay, Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, will be leaving Ubuntu.

In an e-mail to me, Asay, former VP of Business Development at Alfresco, the open-source enterprise Content Management System (CMS), told me that the news of his depature from Canonical would be be announced internally at Canonical today, December 8th.

Asay is leaving Canonical, because “Basically, I needed to get back to a customer-facing role but hadn’t realized that until my good friend, Bryce Roberts, pinged me about a company he had invested in (Strobe). I hadn’t been looking around but agreed to meet with Charles [Jolley], the founder.”


iii. Canonical COO Matt Asay leaves to join web startu

The above are some of the earliest reports. It seems like SJVN broke the news before Canonical even announced this internally. "Matt Assay says goodbye to Canonical," wrote one of our readers in IRC last night. "Perhaps a guy who's constantly defending Microsoft and non free software did not fit in at Canonical. As I said the last time he mouthed off, "You can take the man out of Novell but you can't take the Novell out of the man.""

Here is a new hire of Canonical. In his blog he says: "I am the new "Engineering Manager for the Desktop+ group". What the heck is that? Well, my job is to help a bunch of talented people I like (at least the ones I've known so far ;-) deliver cool software." This developer seems to be Qt oriented and yesterday KDE said that Canonical had donated another server. Are we possibly seeing a change in strategy? Well, Unity and Mono with a GNOME/GTK base seem to suggest it's unlikely, but who knows? I was one of the first people to promote Ubuntu and I am writing this post from Kubuntu, so I hope Canonical will return to its senses.

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