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Embedded virtualization specialist battens hatches

Dec 10, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Embedded virtualization specialist VirtualLogix has undergone a round of layoffs and is in the process of replacing its CEO, confirms co-founder Michel Gien. In an email, Gien was at pains to position the “worldwide adjustment” as precautionary, “until we know the impact of the global economic conditions.”

Gien's positioning of the cuts as precautionary seems far from spurious, given the historic volatility of the telecom market that has long been VirtualLogix's mainstay, despite efforts to diversify (see Related Stories below). The current U.S. recession originated in the banking and finance industry, but the previous two were either blamed on telecom outright, as in the late 1980s, or else affected the sector severely (as with the “dot-com” bust of 2000).

What's happened?

CEO Peter Richards (pictured, right) left the company in November, Gien confirmed. The former CoWare, Wind River, and Tandem executive joined VirtualLogix (then “Jaluna”) in Aug., 2005, at the time taking over the top executive position from Gien, who became EVP of corporate development. Richards subsequently moved the company's headquarters to Santa Clara, Calif.

According to Gien, a replacement for Richards has already been selected, and the replacement has accepted the position. However, the new chief will not be announced until mid-January, he wrote.

Meanwhile, VirtualLogix has recruited two new board members to help with interim executive duties. Mike Seashols, a veteran Silicon Valley CEO and Chairman of twenty years, is acting as “full time executive chairman,” according to Gien. The other new board appointee is Juha Christensen, a well-known former Symbian and Microsoft executive who served on Trolltech's board, presumably helping that company with its IPO and subsequent acquisition by Nokia.

Gien remained mum on rumors that VirtualLogix will downsize its Silicon Valley headquarters from 17 to 7. According to the rumor, with the U.S. economy struggling, the company may re-trench in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, the “high-tech” Paris suburb that previously served as VirtualLogix's (then Jaluna's) home office.

Meanwhile, a company marketing spokesperson has said VirtualLogix will not move its headquarters out of the U.S. We hope to speak with Mike Seashols in the days ahead, and to provide a more in-depth look at the situation soon.

A competitor in the embedded virtualization space, Trango, was recently acquired by VMWare, an exit that VirtualLogix may well have been in competition for. Like Jaluna, Trango originated in France, at offices near the beautiful Alpine town of Grenoble.

VirtualLogix has attracted over $30M in equity investments, primarily from telecom chip and equipment vendors that include Motorola, TI, and Intel, but also from Cisco, DFJ Esprit, Index Ventures, and Atlas Ventures.

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