Open SourceSoftware

SCO Axes CEO Darl McBride

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Controversial Unix vendor The SCO Group has terminated the services of its CEO, Darl McBride, according to a filing with the SEC

The SCO Group, the Unix vendor that took on IBM and others over ownership of the Unix operating system, has terminated the services of its CEO Darl McBride, after his position was eliminated.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, SCO “eliminated the Chief Executive Officer and President positions and consequently terminated Darl McBride.

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McBride had been in charge of SCO as CEO and president since June 2002.

During his tenure, SCO has been mired in controversy. It famously initiated litigation against IBM in 2003, claiming that Big Blue and members of the Linux operating system developer community had infringed SCO’s intellectual property rights of the Unix operating System. One of its demands was that any company using Linux must purchase an IP licence.

It followed this with another lawsuit, this time against Novell, after it said that it still owned the disputed Unix copyrights.

Unfortunately for SCO, the US courts have now twice ruled that the copyrights do in fact belong to Novell. That said, it still has a potential lifeline after an appeals court determined a jury trial is needed to reach a verdict.

The financial pressures of its various legal battles took its toll on the company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2007.

According to its SEC filing, the SCO management team now consists of COO Jeff Hunsaker, CFO Ken Nielsen and general counsel Ryan Tibbitts. These three executives “will continue to work closely with the Chapter 11 Trustee and his advisors to implement the restructuring plan, move the intellectual property litigation [against Novell] forward … and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.”

SCO also said that it will finalise details of the restructuring and reach “cash flow break even for core operations” within a month.

It also revealed that would be a “modest reduction in SCO’s workforce” and that it is attempting to raise additional funding and sell “non-core assets.”