In a very surprise announcement, Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical Ltd., the company behind Ubuntu, announced today that he will be stepping down as the CEO of Canonical Ltd. by March 2010. The position of CEO will be handed over to Jane Silber, who is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Canonical Ltd.
Shuttleworth will, however, be still involved with Canonical. He will be focusing more on product design, customer support and partnerships. There will be no change in Shuttleworth's position in the Ubuntu Community Council and the Ubuntu Technical Board.
Regarding his new role, this is what Shuttleworth said:
I will focus on my passions of product design and development. I want Ubuntu to succeed as the open platform of choice for almost all use types whether on netbook, notebook, desktop, server, embedded device or wherever people compute. That is an large undertaking and being able to focus on that, thanks to Jane, is a great privilege. I will also spend more time talking to and visiting partners and customers about what they demand from an open platform and feeding that back into the product through the community and Canonical.
The next CEO, Jane Silber, is no new face in Canonical. She joined Canonical in 2004 and currently holds the position of COO and Director Of Online Services.