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Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony resigns


In an interview today, controversial Linux leader Kevin Carmony confirmed rumors that he had resigned as CEO of desktop Linux vendor Linspire on July 31. Carmony said he plans to work on several of his own business projects, and on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

Carmony said that, after six years at Linspire, it was time to move on. Projects he plans to work on include continuing as Chairman of the Board of Sadie’s, a nationwide children’s photography studio chain, and serving as CEO of Dating DNA, an online dating service based on social networks. In addition, Carmony will be working more on Mitt Romney’s campaign to become the Republican candidate for the U.S. Presidency in 2008.

While he may be leaving Linspire, Carmony said, “I will always be a big supporter of Linspire and desktop Linux.” And, “I will always be a desktop Linux user.”

Carmony also said that Linspire is stronger than ever. “I can’t speak for Linspire now, but I believe the upcoming release of Freespire 2.0 and open CNR (Click N’ Run) will be great for Linspire and desktop Linux.”

“With the new Freespire coming along, the continued push of Linspire to our OEMs [original equipment manufacturers], and CNR making it easy for other Linux desktop distribution users to install software, Linspire is doing great, and it was time for someone else to take it forward from here,” Carmony added.

Carmony also said his resignation, contrary to some rumors, had nothing to do with any disagreement with Linspire’s primary owner Michael Robertson, or with fallout from either of Linspire’s recent deals with Microsoft, which covered technology licensing and patent indemnification.

Carmony joined Linspire, then known as “Lindows,” in June of 2001 to become its president. Later, he became the company’s CEO.

During Carmony’s tenure, Linspire first defeated Microsoft in a trademark dispute over “Windows,” but later made a controversial partnership with Microsoft. The company also introduced the first Linux distribution, Freespire 1.0, to deliberately include legal proprietary software. Linspire also formed strong relationships with OEMs during Carmony’s tenure, and also forged a partnership with Canonical that led to the next versions of Freespire and Linspire being based on Ubuntu 7.04.

We tried, but were unable to reach Linspire or Michael Robertson, Linspire’s founder, over the weekend for comment.

A version of this story appeared in Linux-Watch.

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