Compaq invests in Linux company SuSE

The German Linux seller snags an investment from the computing giant despite major changes in management and other impacts of the economic downturn.

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Compaq Computer has invested in SuSE, a German Linux seller revamping its North American sales operation.

The Houston computing giant made the investment in December, the same time SGI invested, a SuSE spokeswoman said Tuesday. In addition, Compaq and SGI personnel have joined SuSE's supervisory board, the company said Monday.

Other investors include Intel, Apax, Capital Research, John Hancock and Liechtenstein Global Trust.

SuSE has been adjusting to the tougher economic climate that has afflicted Linux companies and technology companies in general. The company cut two-thirds of its North American staff in February.

In addition, SuSE has replaced Volker Wiegand, the former president of North American operations. SuSE Chief Technology Officer Dirk Hohndel has taken over, while Wiegand is returning to Germany as part of SuSE's professional services group, the company said.

SuSE's new board members are Michael Laurim, managing director of SGI's German operations, and Peter Mark Droste, managing director of Compaq's German operations.

In addition, Heinrich Rodewig, a partner of the German law firm Haarmann Hemmelrath & Partner, has become chairman of the board, SuSE said.