Paul Frields Takes Over at Fedora

Jan 15, 2008

Max Spevack, the leader of the free Fedora distribution project stepped down at the FUDCon and announced Paul Frields as his successor.

At the "Fedora User and Developer Conference" (FUDCon) this weekend in Raleigh, Spevack held the traditional opening speech on the current status of the free distribution to just over 150 participants. In a blog entry posted just before the conference, Spevack said goodbye to “one of the coolest jobs you can have”, reviewing his time as project leader.

Spevack took over as project leader in February 2006, shortly after the Fedora Core 5 release, and kept the free distribution moving through four releases. Spevack refers to merging the “Core” and “Extras” developer branches to form a single repository as the major technical achievement in this period, and points to new software tools that help users to develop customized versions of Fedora.

Spevack describes the role of the project leader as mainly organizational. The project leader's major responsibility is to ensure sustainable growth of the community, rather than contributing themselves. And this is also what Spevack sees as the main task for the new project leader: "Continuing to grow our community, lower barriers to entry, and develop new leaders will remain a top priority for Fedora.”

Paul Frields will take over as project leader in February. Spevack describes him as an experienced community member: "He has been part of the Fedora community since 2003, not long after the Red Hat Linux Project officially merged with the original Fedora.us. Paul has worked with Fedora's
documentation, packaging, marketing, news, and artwork teams. He also served as one of the inaugural members of the Fedora Project Board.” In the first few months, Spevack will be around to assist Frields, and he will be continuing to work on Fedora development. Fedora ambassador Jack Aboutboul will be more involved in marketing the free distribution in future: he was recently taken on by Red Hat's marketing division.

Spevack announced his departure as the Fedora project leader back in December but he will continue to work for Fedora's main sponsor, Red Hat. Just recently there was another change at the head of the Linux company, when Red Hat CEO Szulik surprisingly resigned in December to be succeeded by James Whitehurst January 1.

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