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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.”

Strobe, has already raised $2.5M from Tim O’Reilly’s venture fund, O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures (OATV) and Hummer Winblad. The company is using the money to build a platform for delivering touch-driven web applications, based around the open-source SproutCore framework and HTML5.

Asay continued, “It’s a very early stage company (founded in July) and as we talked, I realized that much of what they needed was what I had enjoyed so much at Alfresco: early spadework with customers and partners, plus figuring out business models and evangelizing new ways to be open. It didn’t hurt that that company’s early focus is on the publishing industry, a market and challenge I love.”

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