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SuSE Linux gets new CEO, cuts staff

The German Linux seller lays off about 10 percent of its staff in several German locations, while promoting CFO Johannes Nussbickel to CEO.

German Linux seller SuSE has laid off about 10 percent of its staff--approximately 50 people in several German locations--while promoting Chief Financial Officer Johannes Nussbickel to chief executive officer.

Co-founder and former CEO Roland Dyroff will become a member of the supervisory board, the company said Friday.

The job cuts, affecting mostly nontechnical personnel, were spurred by slower spending in the computing industry, the company said. The management change was part of a shift in focus from technology matters to business matters.

Times are tough in the Linux market. Red Hat, the leading Linux company, achieved profitability--but with lowered revenue and $27.6 million in one-time charges. French Linux seller MandrakeSoft is trying its own initial public offering--but on an unregulated market. And VA Linux Systems is exiting the computer business to focus on software.

SuSE, which believes the German Linux market is ahead of the U.S. market, laid off 30 U.S. employees in February.

Other SuSE supervisory board members include executives from SGI and Compaq Computer.