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Open-source evangelist and überblogger Matt Asay has been named as chief operating officer of Canonical, Ubuntu's commercial sponsor.

Asay will align strategic goals and operational activities, optimize day-to-day operations, and lead Canonical's marketing and back-office functions, Canonical said Friday.

He joins Canonical from open-source enterprise content-management specialist Alfresco, where he'd worked since 1998, most recently as vice president of business development.

Asay blogged the news saying that at Alfresco he'd helped the company to 18 straight growth quarters, with Alfresco's most recent quarter - ending February 28 - the company's biggest ever "by a significant margin."

He's taking over the COO position as incumbent Jane Silber will be taking on the role of chief executive from Mark Shuttleworth in March.

Shuttleworth said in December he will focus on product design, partnerships, and customers. "Those are the areas that I enjoy most and also the areas where I can best shape the impact we have on open source and the technology market," Shuttleworth said.

In a statement, Silber said Asay combined "industry, executive and community savvy."

Before Alfreso, Asay had been an open-source evangelist at Novell and was general manager for embedded Linux start-up Lineo. ®

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