Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) is to refocus its efforts on a narrower range of projects after laying off one-third of its staff and the resignation of its chief executive.

Along with the resignation of the lab's high-profile chief Stuart Cohen, the non-profit Linux development consortium will cut employee numbers in the US and Asia from 28 to 19.

In a statement, the consortium said a focus on fewer future projects would lessen the need for testing and engineering resources. Its former chief financial officer Mike Temple has become chief operating officer.

OSDL will continue to sponsor the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and others who work on Linux and will encourage closer collaboration between OSDL members, others in the open-source community and end-users. The lab plans to ramp up its efforts in providing additional legal support for Linux and open-source technology around increasingly complex licensing and patent issues.

When OSDL was founded in 2000, one of its main tasks was to evangelise Linux and encourage vendor and user deployments through the provision of computing and test facilities to developers around the world. Since the open-source operating system is now firmly established as a major technology, the consortium, which has more than 70 global members, feels it's time to refocus resources. OSDL members include HP, IBM, Intel, Nokia, Novell and Red Hat.

Former chief Cohen will explore how best to apply lessons learned in open-source collaboration and community building in a venture designed to foster joint software development between industry consortia, government agencies and IT vendors.