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Canonical COO Matt Asay leaves to join web startup

Canonical COO Matt Asay has today announced via his blog that he is leaving Canonical to join start-up ‘Strobe Inc.‘, which focuses on building an open web through mobile apps.

Extractsof Matt’s announcment follow (emphasis is ours). The full post can be read on the Canonical blog.

Two weeks ago I made the extremely difficult decision to leave Canonical to join early-stage HTML5 startup Strobe, one focused on building the open web through killer mobile apps.

I have learned a great deal under the tutelage of Canonical’s current CEO (and former COO), Jane Silber in this time. Jane has an extraordinary eye for detail and has helped me navigate the tricky waters of a global organization like Canonical, with employees scattered throughout over 25 countries. Together we have enhanced Canonical’s focus on revenue, and to good effect: the company has been closing significant deals with name-brand companies, spreading Canonical’s (and Ubuntu’s) influence throughout the industry. I’ve also been blessed to work with others within Canonical who have improved me in various ways. It’s a great organization, doing exceptional things.

But I have greatly missed day-to-day interaction with customers and partners. I miss being in the trenches, as I was at Alfresco. I have realized that while being COO is a good experience, it’s not really the one that I want.

It was the hardest decision of my career, even harder than my decision to leave Alfresco. I have never left an employer after such a short time, and everywhere I look within Canonical and the Ubuntu community I see massive opportunity. This is a leap of faith for me, but one that I feel sure is right for me, even as I continue to cheer on Canonical in its ambitious quest. I would love to remain active with Canonical in some fashion, but we’ll have to see what Jane would like. She is the boss.

To my Canonical colleagues, thank you! Thank you for being impressive as individuals and even more so as a team. To Jane and Mark, in particular, thank you for taking a chance on me. I sincerely appreciate your confidence in me, and hope that my influence on the company will bear fruit for you, complementing the work you’ve already been doing. And to those outside the company who have supported me (as well as those who have not), keep the Ubuntu faith. It can be a necessary buffer in a computing world otherwise run by entrenched hegemons.

If you have been following Matt Asay on Twitter you will no doubt have seen him tweeting often about Mobile and Web.

We here at OMG! wish him all the best at Strobe.