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Duval layoff: Mandriva CEO responds

By NewsForge Staff on March 22, 2006 (8:00:00 AM)

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Mandriva CEO Francois Bancilhon told NewsForge he wishes he "could still be friends" with Gael Duval, who was laid off this month from the company he co-founded in 1998. Bancilhon said he trusted Duval, that their relationship was good, and that Mandriva is as committed as ever to its community outreach.

In an IRC chat with NewsForge, Bancilhon responded to comments made by Duval in an earlier interview, and subsequently on his personal Web site. Bancilhon stressed that Duval was let go for financial reasons. "I am trying to cut the burn and reduce expenses," he said. "We just tried to cut where it would hurt the product less." He said that Mandriva had cut staff both in France and Brazil. Bancilhon also addressed some of these concerns in a an interview published at Mandriva.com.

Bancilhon denied that over the past year he had repeatedly asked Duval to leave the company, as Duval claimed in an interview with NewsForge. He said that the layoff happened as part of a consolidation of the marketing, communication, and community outreach departments. "We laid off two people in those three departments and merged them into one. We save cash and we can still do the work."

Duval wrote on his Web site that he believes the closing of the community outreach department is "very meaningful about the current policy," but Bancilhon said that community is still very important at Mandriva. "We announced three years ago that we wanted to address the corporate world without abandoning our community user base," he said. "Our flagship product, Mandriva 2006, is designed for the community market."

Bancilhon said there are no personal difficulties between him and Duval, but the fact that Duval worked remotely "did not make things very easy." Duval's work on his Ultreo project was never a factor in the layoff, Bancilhon said. "I even tried to help him on this project. We tried to see whether it could be a project inside the company, and then we tried to set it up as an external project," he said. "In the end Gael himself decided he wanted to do more work by himself on the project."

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on Duval layoff: Mandriva CEO responds

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typical corporate 'linux' stuff

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 22, 2006 08:28 PM
What happened with Mandriva is just one of many inevitable expressions of what I call 'corporate linux' (as opposed to the community's GNU/Linux). Frankly, I do not think that Mandrake/Mandriva is any worse than Red Hat, Suse or any other 'corporate linux'. The *only* way of staying clear of that kind of things is to endorse and use a commuity centered distro like Debian GNU/Linux. It also happens to be the largest, most stable and secure and best designed distro out there. The best of all worlds!

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G'bye Mandriva

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 22, 2006 08:42 PM
I've been following along and I have to say I WILL NOT recommend Mandriva to anyone. I won't slight them, I just won't mention them. I'm sorry, but what happened was slimey and typical suits.

And if you think some lame ass explaination such as this is going to smooth things over, you are mistaken, Francois Bancilhon, Mr CEO, commander of the suit brigade at the former first company in community Linux. I think you should have gone out of your way to show some tact, but since you didn't, lay in your own filth.

Reputation is everything and it's going to take A LONG time for the community to forget.

If the board is interested in fixing this mess there at Mandriva, Francois Bancilhon needs to be layed off as well or Mr. Duval gets some kind of heavy compensation, like his job back with a decent raise or a huge settlement like a cool mil or two.

Until then, G'bye Mandriva (change that name btw, it's really bad.)

PS: I started Linux on Mandrake 8.0, been using the community edition ever since. I'm looking elsewhere now.

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the solution to your frustration:

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 22, 2006 09:51 PM
PS: I started Linux on Mandrake 8.0, been using the community edition ever since. I'm looking elsewhere now.

As a former Mandrake user since 7.2 and a Silver Mandrake Club member let me reccommend Debian.

1) it is as easy to install as any Mandrake installation (either with Sarge or Kanotix).

2) DEBs are far, far, far superior to RPMs

3) Apt-get and/or Synaptic are better than anything Mandrake has ever produced

4) you get a much larger choice of applications (over 18000+ according to my last apt-get update check)

5) Debian is super stable and secure and runs much faster (in particular on older hardware)

6) the Debian community is fantastic. The former Mandrake users and Debian newbie that I am got tons of friendly and competent help on the many Debian mailing lists or IRC (the list is absolutely huge) and there is no need to spend your money to be part of some club (although I do encourage you to send money to the Debian project).

7) last but not least: THERE IS NO SUIT BRIGAGE AT DEBIAN which is 100% community oriented and 100% community run. There are 1000+ Debian maintainers out there, and you can bet that they are the best in the business, and nobody will ever fire any of them for some "economic reasons". Better still - Debian will never be bought, sold nor will Debian ever acquire another company. None of that corporate horror will ever happen with Debian which is a *project* and not a corporation.

For somebody who already knows GNU/Linux but who wants to understand Debian, I strongly reccommend the book "The Debian System" by Martin F. Kraft (which you can get here: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1593270690/" title="amazon.com">http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1593270690/</a amazon.com>

You will see why Debian is the fastest growing distro out there and why *ALL* the top GNU/Linux products (Knoppix, Kanpotix, DSL, INSERT, etc.) are all based on it.

Good luck!

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Re:the solution to your frustration:

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 22, 2006 10:38 PM
You sold me.

I was thinking about pclinuxos, considering it's based on Mandrake 9.2, but you make a good case for Debian.

Thank you for your time and effort<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)

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Re:the solution to your frustration:

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 23, 2006 12:45 AM
I would suggest Arch Linux if you are using an i686 or greater CPU. It's closer to bleeding edge, if that's your thing, and faster than any other distros I've run on the same hadware (Fedora, OpenSUSE, Debian).
<a href="http://www.archlinux.org/" title="archlinux.org">http://www.archlinux.org/</a archlinux.org>

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Deb Sid

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 23, 2006 01:46 AM
You want bleeding edge, then go for either Debian "unstable" (which is more stable than all other distros anyway) or Kanotix (which is really Debian-Sid).

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129 reasons why you should go with Debian

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 23, 2006 09:16 PM
All these distros are based on Debian:

AbulÉdu • Adamantix • AGNULA GNU/Linux Audio Distribution • Amber Linux • ANTEMIUM Linux • Arabbix • ARMA aka Omoikane GNU/Linux • ASLinux • Auditor Security Linux • Augustux • B2D Linux • BeatrIX Linux • BEERnix • Biadix • BIG LINUX • Bioknoppix • BlackRhino • Bluewall GNU/Linux • Bonzai Linux • BrlSpeak • Càtix • CensorNet • Clusterix • ClusterKNOPPIX • Condorux • Damn Small Linux • Danix • DeadCD • DebXPde • Dizinha Linux • eduKnoppix • ERPOSS • ESware • Evinux • Euronode • FAMELIX • Feather Linux • Flonix • Vital Data Forensic or Rescue Kit (FoRK) • Freeduc-cd • Freeduc-Sup • GEOLivre Linux • Gibraltar Firewall • GNIX-Vivo • Gnoppix Linux • gnuLinEx • GNU/Linux Kinneret • GNUstep Live CD • grml • Guadalinex • Helix • Hikarunix • Hiweed Linux • Impi Linux • IndLinux • Julex • K-DEMar • Kaella • Knoppix Linux Azur • Kalango Linux • KANOTIX • KlusTriX • knopILS • Knoppel • Knoppix • Knoppix 64 • Knoppix STD • KnoppiXMAME • KnoppMyth • KnoSciences • Kurumin Linux • LAMPPIX • Libranet GNU/Linux • LIIS Linux • LinEspa • Linspire • Linux Live Game Project • Linux Loco • LinuxDefender Live! CD • Linuxin • LiVux • Local Area Security Linux (L.A.S.) • Luinux • Luit Linux • MAX: Madrid_Linux • Mediainlinux • MEPIS Linux • Metadistro-Pequelin • MIKO GNYO/Linux • MoLinux • Morphix • Munjoy Linux • Nature's Linux • NordisKnoppix • OGo Knoppix • Oralux • Overclockix • Quantian • PaiPix • ParallelKnoppix • Parsix GNU/Linux • Penguin Sleuth • PHLAK • PilotLinux • Progeny Debian • Rays Linux • ROSLIMS Live CD • Salvare • Santa Fe Linux • Skolelinux • Slavix • Slix • Slo-Tech Linux • Soyombo Mongolian Linux • SphinxOS • Tablix on Morphix • Tilix Linux • TupiServer Linux • Ubuntu Linux • UserLinux • WHoppiX • X-evian • Xfld • Xandros Desktop OS • Xarnoppix • Zen Linux • ZoneCD • Zopix

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Francois Bancilhon Track record speaks for itself

Posted by: Moulinneuf on March 22, 2006 08:47 PM
The company as not increased value since he whas hired , it lost value , it as not increased sales in the existing product line it diminished , he created new product and as yet to market them into profitable products. He as spent more on R&D then what he had and he took money from the Club and spent it on corporate products.

He as not made a single profitable year since he as taken is position at Mandriva.

Its not the community VS commercial.

Its all about Bad management. Mandriva is worth more then 3 billion , but due to bad management it is 600 000 in debt and is valued at 22 million euro.

Only at Mandriva does a CEO who fail to do the job is promoted as chairman.

Its not community VS commercial entity , its really bad management that keep blaming others for there mistakes and destroying what others have built over the years.

He should have cut is salary to 1$ and tie it to number of product sold and service sold asked for everyone to take a temporary reduced salary and to investigate why those good prodcut always do so poorly in sales.

Francois Bancilhon is a thief who got paid and rewarded for not doing is job.

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Its not the community VS commercial - REALLY?!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 22, 2006 09:57 PM
Can you even begin to imagine such a stupid situation at the Debian project?

Of course not! So it is very much a community vs. commercial (read: corporate) issue.

desole Moulinneuf, mais ce genre de conneries c'est typique du monde des 'costards+cravates' qui ne pensent qu'au pognon et qui en ont rien a foutre des autres valeurs. Ceci dit - tout cela avait deja commence a l'epoque Duval qui avait oriente Mandrake vers le monde des corporations. Il ne fait que recolter les fruits de ses propres semailles...

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No , its bad management

Posted by: Moulinneuf on March 22, 2006 11:08 PM
"Can you even begin to imagine such a stupid situation at the Debian project?"

Yes , even worst, But thats because I know very well the Debian project History , Why do you think Ubuntu exist ?

"So it is very much a community vs. commercial (read: corporate) issue."

No , its a bad manager at a commercial company blaming is mistake on it sown community.

"desole Moulinneuf,<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...foutre des autres valeurs."

Non , c'est pire que sa , c'est un gars , et son équipe de management , qui se prend pour un manager mais envisage pas les répercussions de ses actions.

"Ceci dit - tout<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... le monde des corporations."

Gaël Duval seul tord a été de s'associer avec un paquet de manager totallement inepte. A commencer par Bastok et Le Marois.

"Il ne fait que recolter les fruits de ses propres semailles... "

Non , il c'est fait avoir pas a peu près par des gens qui se disait c'est amis.

Le problème est dû au management seulement.

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please explain what you meant

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 23, 2006 03:12 AM
I know very well the Debian project History , Why do you think Ubuntu exist ?

To tell you the truth - I have absolutely no idea why Ubuntu exists. Considering how slow it is, how louzy the live-CD version is or how awesome distros like Debian Sarge or even Kanotix are I can only guess that the main explanation for the existance - and popularity! - of Ubuntu is the fact that it is promoted by the ressources of a multi-millionaire.

But if I am mistaken here, please enlighten me. In particular, please name me one, just ONE, advantage of Ubuntu over Kanotix?!

Also - what is it in the history of Debian that you are referring to? As far as I can tell, Debian is by far the biggest distro out there, all the best distros today (including Ubunutu) are based on it, it has the largest and best number of developers working on it, it is the fastest growing distro out there - only RH is more popular - and it has a fantastic set of self-imposed guidelines (Manifesto, Social Countract & Guidelines). I would say that Debian is a fantastic success, but you seem to suggest otherwise. What are you referring to

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Re:please explain what you meant

Posted by: Moulinneuf on March 23, 2006 05:46 AM
"To tell you the truth - I have absolutely no idea why Ubuntu exists."

Because Debian was not providing what some people wanted.

"Considering how<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... multi-millionaire."

No , its partially based on the distribution model , but its also more open and accessible to normal people then Debian is. Example go to thew computer store near where you live as for Debian if they do have it go to the next one , if they do go to the next one , chance are that 9/10 wil not know what it is or even carry it.

"Ubuntu over Kanotix?"

Its community.

"Also - what is it in the history of Debian that you are referring to?"

Start in 1993 and go up to 2006.

"As far as I can tell, Debian is by far the biggest distro out there"

Debian is very small , its its community based in and around it that is huge.

"all the best distros today (including Ubunutu) are based on it"

Mandriva , Red Hat , SuSe. etc<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... Debian is not what it should be at all.

"it has the largest and best number of developers working on it"

no , but on the Debian community yes.

"it is the fastest growing distro out there"

Now your being delusionnal.

"only RH is more popular "

No , Debian the distribution is very small in number , its its community that is big.

"and it has a fantastic set of self-imposed guidelines (Manifesto, Social Countract & Guidelines)."

Yes and no , as there not all respected.

"I would say that Debian is a fantastic success"

Its a fantastic failure , but you know what they say about failure as long as they dont give up they will eventually win.

"but you seem to suggest otherwise."

I dont sugest , its the case , thats because I know more then you do.

"What are you referring to "

Reality. As long as Debian is not a real leader and only a stabilizer and as long as some people have problem getting it and installing it and using it , for some task and not getting it offered as 100% functionnal and as an option as the default os on the system of there choice at the corner store computer store then Debian is really a failure.

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plus con que ca tu meurs!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 23, 2006 12:22 PM
Let me tell you something. I have seen plenty of dumb, poorly argued or totally outlandish posts on Newsforge, but yours beats them all. I asked simple questions, and you gave no answer at all. None. All you did is spew out pompous and wholly unsubstantiated one-liners (literally). I do not do this often, but this time I will make an exception to my rule and I will tell you honestly and frankly that you are so densly packed with bovine excreta that any criticism of Debian coming from you should make everyone in the Debian community feel great.

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Re:Francois Bancilhon Track record speaks for itse

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 23, 2006 01:21 AM
There does appear to be a correlation between when he shows up and a company starts to go under.

Two other companies which come to mind: Unikala Software and Ucopia Communications.

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well its have its nice parts

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 22, 2006 09:37 PM
Duval will be draft by other most likely Ubuntu or suse this will not be left on its own too valuable<nobr> <wbr></nobr>....

and as far as mandriva its have shoot it self in the foot big time no more reputation period there done

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What distro to move to?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 22, 2006 11:05 PM
Can anyone recommend a versatile, RPM-based distro to replace Mandriva with?

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Re:What distro to move to?

Posted by: Stumbles on March 22, 2006 11:16 PM
<a href="http://www.pclinuxos.com/index.html" title="pclinuxos.com">http://www.pclinuxos.com/index.html</a pclinuxos.com>

The site is currently under reconstruction. But you can download it here;

<a href="http://pclinuxos.ethz.ch/mirror/pclinuxos/live-cd/english/preview/" title="pclinuxos.ethz.ch">http://pclinuxos.ethz.ch/mirror/pclinuxos/live-cd<nobr>/<wbr></nobr> english/preview/</a pclinuxos.ethz.ch>

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Re:What distro to move to?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 23, 2006 03:44 AM
i use pclinuxos and its the perfect distro really i have use
mepis (not bad)
ubuntu ( need more work) will wait for drapper and automatix
dsl good but hard to update
berry (not bad )

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Re:What distro to move to?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 23, 2006 04:08 AM
have you tried Kanotix?

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Re:What distro to move to?

Posted by: Daniel Carrera on March 23, 2006 01:50 AM
Why RPM-based? Ubuntu is very good and I highly recommend it, but it's not RPM-based.

Cheers,
Daniel.

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Re:What distro to move to?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 23, 2006 10:52 PM
Because I have nearly 10 years experience with RPM-based distros, the few times I've had to play with debs has left me distinctly unimpressed.

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Re:What distro to move to?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 23, 2006 02:06 AM
no. but I can think of quite a few DEB based ones like Kanotix, Ubuntu or, of course, Debian itself.

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business person

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 23, 2006 08:03 AM
Duval never seemed to me as much of a business person. If you run the company, you are supposed to make money in the first place. That's the whole idea of it.

DG

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Great move stupid

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on March 23, 2006 11:38 PM
Cut off the head, that's where it will hurt the least. What a marksman.

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