Hubert Mantel, one of the founders of the SuSE Linux project, has resigned from Novell, which acquired SuSE in January 2004.

A Novell spokesman confirmed Mantel's resignation, which was announced on a SuSE e-mail list this week . "That's all we can say at this stage," the spokesman said Thursday. "We don't as a policy comment on individual employees."

Mantel was one of four founders of SuSE, a German consulting group that focused on creating a packaged version of Linux. He was a long-time maintainer of the SuSE project, but Novell noted that dozens of other developers work on SuSE.

Mantel didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Earlier this month, Novell announced restructuring moves including a 600-worker layoff and a plan to focus its efforts on high-growth markets such as Linux.

The company said it is looking at selling off its Celerant Consulting unit, with the company planning to keep a separate IT consulting group that focuses its own products.