Claiming that SuSE was no longer the company he founded 13 years ago, Hubert Mantel has quit Novell, who bought SuSE early last year. Mantel claims that he could no longer work for Novell, and claimed that he was confident that the company would find someone to replace him fairly quickly.

Novell spinners said that Mantel's departure would not impact its Linux strategy, but it must lend some weight to those who fear that the company is losing the plot a bit over SuSE.

In May, former SuSE president Richard Seibt cleared his desk at Novell too.

Novell spokesman Bruce Lowry confirmed Mantel had quit, but also refused to elaborate.

"As a matter of policy, we don't comment on decisions by individual employees to depart the company," he said. But "we don't anticipate that this will have a negative impact on either our [Linux development] strategy or our ability to execute on that strategy."