Mark is founder of Ubuntu, a popular free operating system for desktops and servers. Ubuntu is beautiful, easy to use and precision engineered for consumers and large-scale enterprise deployments alike. It has been adopted by an amazing number of people, from families that just want a PC that works for safe web surfing, to heavy industry, massive cloud computing environments, supercomputers, several armies, national police forces, banks and schools in the Amazon.
Mark leads product strategy and design at Canonical, which sells commercial support for Ubuntu, mainly to large enterprises and governments who deploy it professionally. Canonical also builds many of the unique elements of Ubuntu for desktop, cloud and server deployments. Mark champions design-driven development and has a focus on quality and cadence in the engineering work done at Canonical.
After graduating from the University of Cape Town with a degree in finance and information technology, Mark founded Thawte, a company specialising in digital certificates and cryptography. When Thawte was acquired in 1999 by VeriSign, and he founded HBD, an investment company, and setup the Shuttleworth Foundation, which funds innovative change in society by supporting Fellows and investing in their projects. He moved to London in 2001, and began preparing for the First African in Space mission, training in Star City, Russia, and Khazakstan. In April 2002 he flew in space, as a cosmonaut member of the crew of Soyuz mission TM34 to the International Space Station. After a tour of schools in South Africa promoting science and mathematics for aspiring astronauts he started work on Ubuntu. Today he lives on the lovely Isle of Man along with 12 ducks, the equally lovely Claire, two black bitches and the occasional itinerant sheep.
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