Waugh partners call it quits after nine years

Business and personal partners to go separate ways

Australian open source industry identities Pia and Jeff Waugh have separated after nine years together, the last six in wedlock.

In a coordinated blog posting, the Waughs said the decision was “mutual and amicable... and we wanted everyone to know that we’re both okay”.

Pia (nee Smith) Waugh wrote on her blog: “Though we still care for each other and will remain good friends, unfortunately we have grown significantly apart and out of love.”

Pia and Jeff were married in Yass, NSW in 2005.

In late 2006 the pair founded Waugh Partners, a consulting and research firm with a focus on open source IT.

A year later Waugh Partners won the State Pearcey Award for Young Achievers for its work educating the ICT sector about free software.

Following the release of its Australian Open Source Industry & Community Report in 2008, Waugh Partners was scaled back and eventually disbanded and Pia took a position as a technology advisor to Senator Kate Lundy in Canberra. She has also served as president of Linux Australia and director of OLPC Australia.

Prior to forming Waugh Partners, Pia was an open source software strategist with Volante for four years.

“Personally, I have learnt a lot from this relationship and from Jeff, and I look forward to seeing what he goes on to do and supporting him as a friend,” Pia Waugh wrote. “Although it will be a difficult transition in some ways, we know this is the right thing to do and hope you will all support us both through this.”

Pia will stay in the Canberra-Yass area but Jeff is packing his bags and heading back to his home town of Sydney.

Jeff is a long-time open source advocate and has held key positions in the GNOME project and was a one of the founding employees of Canonical doing business and community development from 2004 to 2006.

In 2007 Jeff Waugh was strongly criticised by GNOME developer Murray Cumming for being on the GNOME Foundation board, a criticism he immediately responded to on his blog.

Since finishing with Waugh Partners it is unclear what permanent roles Jeff has worked on, however, he is very active on Twitter with more than 27,000 tweets to his @jdub name.

Writing on his blog, Jeff Waugh said: “Although it’s a rough time in many ways, and both of us will greatly appreciate the support and company of our friends as a result, there are some silver linings.”

Both Pia and Jeff said they plan on remaining “good friends”.

[Author’s note: I’ve know both Pia and Jeff for more than a decade. As a friend I wish them both every success with any future endeavours.]

Follow Rodney Gedda on Twitter: @rodneygedda

Follow TechWorld Australia on Twitter: @Techworld_AU

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