Canonical, CodePlex Foundation Announce New Leadership

The CodePlex Foundation announces the appointment of Paula Hunter to the position of executive director of the open-source organization. And Canonical hires a new chief operating officer.

The CodePlex Foundation has announced the appointment of Paula Hunter to the position of executive director of the open-source organization. And Canonical hires a new chief operating officer.

Hunter comes to the CodePlex Foundation with more than 15 years experience in high technology marketing, operations and business development, including leadership roles at open-source organizations Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and United Linux.

The CodePlex Foundation is a nonprofit foundation formed with the mission of enabling the exchange of code and understanding among software companies and open-source communities. Microsoft essentially took the idea behind its CodePlex community development site and spun it out into an independent entity in September 2009. And former Microsoft executive Sam Ramji joined to help lead the organization during the search for a permanent leader.

Hunter is the first full-time staff member to join the CodePlex Foundation. She will be responsible for the foundation's operations, including personnel, budgets and programs, with primary responsibility for sponsor development, evangelism for the foundation and its mission, and outreach to key open-source organizations including other foundations.

"The CodePlex Foundation has a unique opportunity to facilitate interaction among corporate software developers interested in participating in open-source projects, the open-source community and software companies," Hunter said in a statement. "I am looking forward to driving the Foundation's mission of advancing dialogue between software companies and open-source communities, supporting the board of directors, and working with sponsors and key influencers to establish the Foundation as an essential facilitator of community collaboration."

"Paula has a compelling combination of industry insight, executive-level business savvy and experience working with not-for-profits and strong boards," said Sam Ramji, interim president, CodePlex Foundation board of directors, in a statement. "With this appointment, the Foundation is taking a big step toward a permanent management and governance structure that will aid us in achieving our mission."

Most recently Hunter served as director of operations for SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, a nonprofit professional association working to increase awareness and promote the value of search engine marketing worldwide. Prior to SEMPO, Hunter was director of worldwide marketing and business development for the Open Source Development Labs, where she was instrumental in driving membership growth of the industry advocacy group and led initiatives to increase industry awareness and engage large enterprise IT organizations with OSDL programs. Previously, Hunter was general manager of UnitedLinux, a joint venture formed to create a unified Linux offering. She began her career at Digital Equipment Corp., where she managed marketing programs for DEC's UNIX Workstation and PC product lines.

Meanwhile, Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu Linux, announced on Feb. 5 that open-source industry veteran Matt Asay has joined the company as chief operating officer. As COO, Asay will be responsible for aligning strategic goals and operational activities, the optimization of day-to-day operations, and leadership of Canonical marketing and back-office functions.

Most recently, Asay was vice president of business development for Alfresco. Asay has been involved with open source since 1998, and is one of the industry's leading open-source business strategists.

"As more companies and people are embracing Ubuntu for their day-to-day computing, we felt it critical to bring in a person who knew not just open source, but has a long experience in making Linux relevant to businesses and users alike," said Jane Silber, current COO and soon-to-be CEO of Canonical.