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New CEO replaces Lineo founder

The company, which hopes to sell Linux for computing gadgets such as set-top boxes, has promoted Chief Operating Officer Matt Harris to chief executive.

Lineo, a company hoping to sell Linux for computing gadgets such as set-top boxes, has promoted Chief Operating Officer Matt Harris to chief executive.

Harris, who was behind the company's spate of acquisitions in 2000 and 2001, has largely been running the show, spokesman Lyle Ball said.

Founder and former CEO Bryan Sparks will remain chairman, Ball said, though his new duties remain vague.

"He hasn't defined what he's going to do. It's nice to have options," Ball said.

Lineo sells Linux and other software for "embedded" devices such as network routers, handheld computers and other special-purpose computing equipment. The company withdrew its initial public offering plans and in August raised $20 million from private investors. The company had to lay off staff earlier this year.

The company competes with Red Hat, the leading Linux company but one with more of a focus on servers, as well as with Microsoft, trying to enter the market, and Wind River Systems, the top embedded software firm.