OLPC names new president, COO

OLPC back on track after losing several top personnel

The One Laptop Per Child Project appointed a new president and chief operating officer on Friday to run daily operations at the nonprofit effort, sending a signal that it could be recovering from the loss of top personnel over the past few months.

Charles Kane will move from the part-time role as chief financial officer to oversee the organization's operational matters and distribution of the XO laptop on a day-to-day basis. Kane will provide OLPC the leadership needed to deliver on its commitments to partners and governments, said Nicholas Negroponte in a statement.

Negroponte will "focus on fund-raising and promoting the project to governments worldwide," OLPC said.

The new appointment could curb damage caused by the loss of important personnel over the past few months. In January, OLPC lost Chief Technology Officer Mary Lou Jepsen, who started an organization to commercialize parts of OLPC's technology, including the screen and battery. In February, Director of Security Architecture Ivan Krstic resigned to protest the organization's restructuring and "radical" change in goals.

Last month, Walter Bender, the president of software and content, quit to promote the use of open-source software in the face of OLPC's goal to load Windows XP on the laptop. Bender was said to be running the day-to-day operations of OLPC while Negroponte focused on fundraising and promotion of the project.

OLPC recently restructured into four departments -- development, technology, deployment and learning -- and the organization is now focusing on making the XO laptop more appealing to customers.

The organization is in negotiations with Microsoft to load Windows on dual-boot versions of the XO laptop, which is being marketed as a learning tool for children in developing countries. In an open letter, Negroponte criticized the development of Sugar, XO's user interface, and asked developers to stop bickering, unite and jointly develop a Windows user interface to make XO laptops more appealing to customers.

The letter drew anger from open-source developers writing applications for the Linux-based laptop, who called Negroponte's vision "vague" and "demoralizing" for the future of Sugar.

Negroponte needs to clarify his vision to deliver a more sophisticated product, Krstic wrote in an April blog entry.

If Sugar is a problem, Negroponte has no one but himself to blame, Krstic said. "Nicholas' recent claim of Sugar growing amorphously because it 'didn't have a software architect who did it in a crisp way' is similarly muddy: convincing him of the need for an architect is a battle Walter and I fought for months without success," Krstic wrote.

Negroponte offered Krstic the spot of chief software architect, which was rescinded several weeks later "for reasons he refused to explain to anyone," Krstic wrote.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?