16:35 PM

Irving Wladawsky-Berger: IBM's Chief Open Source Strategist To Retire

I just got back from a meeting with Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM's chief strategist on open source and one of the key agents of change within IBM over the past ten years.

He is also a key figure in helping to establish the open source movement as a whole. He had to evangelize for open source within, and outside of IBM. Without IBM's support for open source software in the late 1990s, corporations wouldn't have taken it seriously.

And without IBM's lawyers and patent portfolio defending Linux against SCO's patent claims (and those of its allies), we wouldn't have an open source movement that's alive and thriving.

Irving Wladawsky-Berger should be credited with a key part in the success of the open source movement because he had to evangelize open source software within, and outside of IBM. Without his efforts within IBM, the world's largest computer company would not have become the world's largest evangelist for Linux and open source. Open source software seems such an obvious thing to support these days but it wasn't that way just a few years ago...

It is always a treat to catch up with Irving when he is in town, and an hour and a half chat always seems like we barely scratch the surface of things. I was very surprised when Irving told me he was retiring at the end of May.

Which means I have one of the last interviews with Irving--about to be published as a text and video interview later this week through podtech.net.


Irving's retirement means this is an opportunity for some Irving stories... I've got a few I will share later this week, send me some too if you have them: tom at foremski.com.