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Embedded Linux specialist TimeSys changes CEOs

Dec 8, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Embedded Linux specialist TimeSys Corp. has a new CEO. Larry Weidmen has resigned as President/CEO, in order to pursue other interests, and TimeSys boardmember Joseph Raffa (pictured), a semiconductor industry veteran, has been appointed acting CEO by the company's board of directors, according to the company.

Weidman joined TimeSys in 2001, after selling his “Hell's Kitchen Systems” startup to Red Hat in 2000. In addition to leading the company, he has been a key TimeSys investor in the past.

Weidman's departure was amicable, according to Laurie Sims, the company's senior director of developer exchange services. Sims said she is not aware of Weidman's specific future plans, but added, “Knowing Larry, he will continue to serve in leadership roles in technology.”

Sims added that she does not expect Weidman's departure to have a significant financial impact on the company. She said, “We do have backing and continued support from Joel Adams and from the Board. The rapid appointment of Joe demonstrates that support.”

Raffa has over 20 years experience leading top chip and semiconductor companies, according to TimeSys.

Raffa previously served as CEO of NuCORE Technology, a fabless image processing chip supplier to the Japanese digital camera and camcorder market. Additionally, he was vice president at general manager of the logic synthesis business unit at Synopsys, a large U.S. EDA (electronic design automation) specialist. He also led Hewlett-Packard's marketing for its RISC-based engineering workstation.

Raffa is currently a venture partner with Adams Capital Management, described as a national venture capital firm specializing in early-stage applied technology investments. Joel Adams, of Adams Capital Management, chairs the TimeSys board of directors.

Sims said that she believed Weidman had timed his departure “as well as it could have been timed,” adding, “It's pretty straightforward. Larry's decision was recent, but we're very fortunate, in terms of having someone who can step right in with specific knowledge of the industry and specific company knowledge. Joe has been a venture partner and a TimeSys board member.”

Other TimeSys personnel contacted reported being asked not to discuss the transition.

In addition to serving as interim CEO, Raffa will lead the search for a permanent CEO. Sims suggested that the search could be an unhurried one, noting, “We're in a position to look for the very best person for that role. Joe is committed for as long as we need him to be in [the CEO] role.”

In 2006, TimeSys continued to pursue its strategy of offering online services and development tools to embedded Linux developers, through its LinuxLink programs. The company also produced several dozen technical webinars on embedded Linux topics basic and advanced, and employed several key open source developers, including BusyBox maintainer Rob Landley (author of this excellent paper), real-time kernel hacker Thomas Gleixner, and uClibc++ developer Garrett Kajmowicz.

TimeSys's embedded processor partners include Freescale, Intel, ARM, MIPS, and Atmel. The company maintains partnerships with about a dozen regional resellers and embedded service providers. LinuxLink customers reportedly include Agilent, Alcoa, BAE Systems, Boeing, Dell, Lockheed Martin, MIPS Technologies, NASA, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Northrop Grumman, Pratt and Whitney, Raytheon, Rockwell Collins, Tektronix, Thales, Thomson, Union Switch and Signal, and the University of Texas.

The year 2006 has proven to be a tumultuous one for CEOs of embedded Linux companies. MontaVista founder Jim Ready was replaced by Thomas Kelly in June, while Gurgot Singh replaced Inder Singh at LinuxWorks around the middle of the year as well. Additionally, long-time OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen resigned recently, amid other OSDL restructuring efforts.

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