Obviously, Linux vendors will not remain untouched by the economic downturn. Novell has already announced a number of lay offs, and the openSUSE Linux division has not been spared. openSUSE board members Pascal Blesser and Bryen Yunashko announced the lay offs.
“”As you may know, recently Novell made the decision to reduce the workforce in their organization in the wake of our current economic outlook which is affecting everyone globally in all sectors of life,” they wrote, “Unfortunately, this has also impacted some members of the openSUSE Community who were employed by Novell when, earlier this week, they were laid off.” Exact details are unknown, but round and about 100 employees of the total of 4200 Novell employees have been laid off.
It is no known how many of those 100 were part of the openSUSE team, but Blesser and Yunashko reiterated that Novel is committed to openSUSE and its development. They also lashed out at Novell critics. “While we cannot speak for Novell and the reasons behind its decisions, we do take offence[at] those outside our community who have decided to exploit the hardship of our fellow community members in these trying times for their own personal gain in their misguided rants against the Project and misinterpreted portrayals to the general public.”
The economy is affecting many companies, so I agree with them that laying off openSUSE people has little to do with Novell’s commitment to the project. Sadly, people had to be fired, and some of them happened to be openSUSE engineers. Let’s hope they have no trouble finding a new job.