HP Appoints New VP for Open Source, Linux

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-01-13 Print this article Print

Longtime HP employee Christine Martino brings a more business and operational focus to the role than did her predecessor.

Hewlett-Packard Co. has a new vice president for open source and Linux—Christine Martino—a longtime company employee who most recently headed up HPs carrier-grade server division. Martino takes over for HPs longtime Linux and open-source vice president, Martin Fink, who was tasked last May with running HPs high-end NonStop server division in addition to being vice president for open source and Linux. Click here for HPs thoughts about porting Linux to its NonStop fault-tolerant server line.
While Fink at first believed he could do both, he found himself increasingly devoting more time to the NonStop side of the business, and "around late fall he decided he was going to open up the position of vice president of open source and Linux to give that group the attention it deserved," Martino told eWEEK in an interview.
Martino will report to Fink, who remains involved with the open-source and Linux area to some degree. She brings a more business and operational focus to the role, which "complements [Finks] visionary role really well," she said. "I have pretty broad experience and have worked at a number of HP businesses. I have run businesses, have had PNL [profit and loss] ownership and bring this to the open-source and Linux business, which grew 67 percent year-on-year," she said. "I can now bring structure and operational focus to this substantial business for us." In her last role as director of the HP division that developed specialized servers for the telecom industry, Martino worked closely with Fink and the open-source and Linux division as "these servers were pretty much exclusively on Linux and had features designed just for telecom networks," she said. "That industry, like many others, wanted to move to industry-standard hardware and Linux to get the carve-out they required while also having platforms on which they could rapidly deploy new services," she said. Click here to read about how, in 2003, HP and Intel pushed industry-standard computing into the telecommunications space. The off-the-shelf Linux distributions like those from Red Hat and Novells SUSE do not have all the features telcos require within the network, so Martinos and Finks teams worked together and used Debian Linux to create some telco extensions based on specific customer needs. "Each customer had different needs, so their versions were all different," Martino said. "But that allowed them to take advantage of industry-standard hardware and Linux. Also, everything we do there we give back to the open-source community as we are not looking to become a Linux distribution company." Asked what her immediate goals were for HPs open-source and Linux division, Martino said she is not coming in with a plan to make big strategy shifts, "as we already have the right strategy, which is borne out by the fact that we have top market share and the success we have had with customers," she said. "We offer them choice on the hardware side, a multiple operating system strategy and a level playing field across all of those, which works well." HP also has many commercial partners as well as more than 1,000 open-source partners. "Thats a valid strategy, and we are going to stick with that," she said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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