Open Letter to Canonical Regarding New COO

Matt Asay is joining Canonical. Open source bloggers breathe sigh of relief.

To: Mark Shuttleworth, Founder, Canonical Ltd.

Jane Silber, Chief Operating Officer, Canonical Ltd.

Re: Recent hiring of Matt Asay as new Canonical COO

Dear Mark and Jane:

First off, let me compliment you on your recent decision to hire Matt Asay as your new Chief Operating Officer (COO) to take Jane's place as she moves into the CEO position later this year.

Speaking on behalf of many in the Linux and open source community, I think Matt is an excellent choice because he has consistently demonstrated time and again not only a core understanding of how open source really works, but also has the business acumen to implement strong solutions.

However, it is also important that, as a journalist and a blogger in this community, I make the following request from you regarding Matt's new tenure at Canonical:

Please, for the sake of our collective egos, keep him busy. Very busy.

This is not a request that is made lightly, but you should know that on top of Matt's superior work at Alfresco and Lineo, he writes a little blog called The Open Road at CNET. And--just in case I'm not clear--"writes a little blog" is really a euphemism for "completely dominates the analysis and discussion of all things open source."

Seriously, this guy is a machine. While the rest of us are just prepping our first analysis pieces on some news in the community, Matt has usually already posted three blog entries on the subject: one to introduce, one to discuss and analyze, and one to tell us why it's all proprietary software companies' fault.

Personally, I have yet to understand how he does it. It's not like he shirked his duties over at Alfresco. Yet, there he is on CNET, every day, showing us all up with his business savvy and boyish good looks. It's not that we want Matt to not blog altogether, just, you know, cut back a little.

So please, as a personal favor, make him work hard in his new job. Have him be, as you say in your press release, "responsible for aligning strategic goals and operational activities, the optimization of day-to-day operations, and leadership of Canonical marketing and back-office functions." Yes, all of that, and more. Put him in charge of the office holiday parties. Join Jono Bacon's band. Anything.


Brian Proffitt


(Who doesn't have insecurity issues. Really.)

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