Open source icon Perens bids HP adieu

Renowned open source advocate Bruce Perens has left his post at Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP), less than four weeks after announcing that his desire to become more politically active has put him at odds with company management.

Although news of Perens' departure is posted on his personal Web site, at, it was not clear whether the open source icon quit or was asked to leave.

No one at HP was immediately available to comment Monday.

Perens worked for HP for two years, serving as senior strategist of Linux and Open Source and was known for pushing the envelope to further open source adoption. In fact, Perens' resume, posted on his site, says that his assignments included "challenging HP management." That task apparently became more difficult when HP bought Compaq Computer Corp. earlier this year, making the company a leading buyer of Microsoft Windows for PCs.

While Perens continued on his open source drive, he reportedly came at increasing odds with the new company. Speaking at an open-source rally in San Francisco last month, Perens said that he was "too political to be someone else's employee." The Palo Alto, California, company had been trying to limit Perens' activist tendencies, forcing him to cancel a demonstration last July that would reveal software code allowing users to circumvent DVD (digital video/versatile disc) encryption because doing so would run him afoul of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Now free of HP, Perens is expected to return to his activist roots. On his site, Perens notes that he is available to any company looking to develop open source policies and processes.

Previous to working for HP, Perens served as senior systems programmer at Pixar Animation Studios and founded the Linux Capital Group.

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