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Caldera CEO steps aside to focus on UnitedLinux

Caldera chief executive officer and president Ransom Love is moving over to head the company's recently announced involvement with UnitedLinux.

The company said Love will be replaced by Darl McBride, who most recently was president of the online planning business at personal and organisational effectiveness vendor FranklinCovey.

Love co-founded Caldera in 1994 and helped the company grow into the Unix and Linux vendor. He will now guide Caldera's role in the UnitedLinux effort.

Under that deal, Caldera is joining three other Linux vendors - SuSE Linux, Conectiva and Turbolinux - to pool resources in creating and selling a standardised enterprise version of Linux aimed at drastically increasing its adoption in business computing.

Joining the effort to offer a uniform Linux distribution by year's end are more than a dozen hardware and software vendors, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, AMD and Intel.

Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst at IDC, said the appointment of Love to lead the company's UnitedLinux effort fills an important need there.

The problem, though, is that "if you look at Caldera's place in the market and its revenues, one could ask if he's the right person to lead this effort," Kusnetzky said.

The company's total revenue has declined from $170m (£111m) in 1999 to $70m (£46m) in 2001, Kusnetzky said. "If he's leading a ship that's had nothing but declines, it makes you wonder."

He said the job shift for Love could be a case of "moving him away from the controls at Caldera to let someone else take over".

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