Mantel said in a brief letter, sent to recipients in a Suse mailing list, that he could no longer work for the company, which acquired Suse in January 2004.
"Too late for me. I just decided to leave Suse/Novell," Mantel wrote. "This is no longer the company I founded 13 years ago."
A Novell spokeswoman confirmed Mantel’s resignation but gave no further details. “We can confirm that Hubert Mantel has tendered his resignation to Novell. However, this departure does not impact Novell's Linux strategy or our ability to execute on that strategy,” she said in an e-mailed statement.
Mantel's exit is the latest executive departure from Novell’s Nuremberg, Germany-based Suse unit. In October, former Novell EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Asia) and Suse channel chief Petra Heinrich announced her exit and took a new position at Open-Xchange, an open-source e-mail company based in Germany. And in May, former Novell EMEA president and onetime Suse president Richard Seibt left Novell.
Mantel said Novell likely will fill his role at Suse, which was similar to those of Linus Torvalds and Andrew Morton in the development of the Linux kernel. Mantel also indicated that he sent his letter of resignation to Novell's upper management.
"I have been the maintainer of the Suse kernel for more than a decade now," Mantel wrote. "I'm very confident the Novell management will find a competent successor very quickly. After all, there are lots of extremely skilled people over there in the Ximian division."
Mantel’s departure also comes less than a week after Novell announced a major restructuring that would result in 600 layoffs. It’s unclear if Mantel's resignation is related to the restructuring.