SCO opens Euro HQ in Dublin


17 Jun 2003

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Amidst a US$3bn lawsuit against IBM, Unix giant SCO has selected Dublin as its European headquarters.

The new Dublin headquarters will initially employ 25 staff and will focus on Europe, the Middle East and Africa. SCO will grow its technical support, customer care and professional services out of its operations in Sandymount in Dublin. The company is understood to have targeted Dublin because of a perceived deep pool of Unix talent on the ground. “We have 15 people on the ground, and will 25 quite soon, but they are going to keep growing in Dublin,” a spokesperson told siliconrepublic.com.

SCO has been embroiled in a lawsuit with the world’s largest computer company, IBM, focusing on the licence for AIX, an IBM version of the Unix operating system. The lawsuit has raised many concerns in the IT sector because it has the potential to affect many corporations throughout the world that use the GNU Linux operating system. In March SCO sued IBM for $1bn contending that the company had copied the Unix code into Linux, violating SCO’s contract rights.

Yesterday, SCO upped the ante in an amendment to its suit against IBM, seeking more than $3bn in damages as well as an injunction preventing IBM from selling Unix. It seeks at least $1bn in damages from IBM’s alleged breach of contract; another $1bn for breach of a Unix contract signed by Sequent, which IBM acquired in 1999; and another $1bn for unfair competition. SCO is seeking more for misappropriation of trade secrets and punitive damages.

Speaking about the company’s decision to locate in Dublin, Darl McBride, president and CEO of SCO Group said: “Dublin is a great centre for Unix expertise and an ideal location from which to support our international Unix strategy.”

Aine Denn has been appointed to head up the Dublin operation, holding the title of vice president of international business operations. She has a business development brief and will be responsible for SCO’s international strategic partnerships, as well as growing the company’s web services business. SCO has also appointed Mike Gannon as finance director for European operations.

Reg Broughton, senior vice president of international operations at SCO added: “As the largest exporter of software in the world, the skills exist in Dublin to allow us to hire the experienced management and Unix support staff to ensure a world class operational headquarters. Dublin is a centre for major software and hardware vendors and SCO will build our partner relationships in order to provide customers with more complete solutions and services offerings.”

SCO’s decision to locate in Dublin was welcomed by the local Unix community, particularly by Fujitsu Services Ireland. Fujitsu’s marketing director John Pierce explained: “Fujitsu is glad to see SCO investing in Europe and are particularly pleased they have chosen Dublin for their European headquarters. This move will bring SCO closer to its alliance partners and customers.”

By John Kennedy