Lijun Pan was listed in MAINTAINERS for IBM's VNIC driver with their IBM email up until 3 days ago, when they changed their email to their personal address and changed themselves from M ("Mail") to R ("Reviewer").
Then, today, they received these instructions: "Please remove yourself completely from the maintainers file. I grant you a 1 time exception on contributions to VNIC to make this change."
It looks to me like there's been a change in the organization--either in this employee's assignment or in their policies surrounding contributing to their VNIC driver--that this employee was trying to bypass by identifying their commits as now being part of a personal hobby.
Employees giving themselves personnal privileges using company resources, while being specifically asked to remove themselves from those that they had has employee, is vastly different context than "he was there as a hobby and ibm cracked down on him".
Claiming that reviewing patches is a "privilege" is bad for the kernel, and bad for IBM.
Regardless, it's not a great look for anyone involved here.
They swapped from their work email to the personal email, which indicates, they won't be working on it during work time.
This is an open-source project and isn't the same as adding another GitHub user to a private org or something.
Would they had been added to that list using their personal email if they removed themselves THEN asked someone with the authority to do so to add them back on their personal account? Everything points to no. Ergo they misused their employees position.
> Would they had been added to that list using their personal email if they removed themselves THEN asked someone with the authority to do so to add them back on their personal account? Everything points to no.
What makes you say this? No commits make it into the official Linux kernel without being peer-reviewed and approved. The original change was signed off by another (non-IBM) maintainer, and would have to be signed-off again by Linus before making it into the official kernel. There have been many cases where a developer stopped working on the kernel in a professional capacity, but continued to do so in a personal capacity, and none of the Linux maintainers objected to this. Why would they? The developer has valuable experience and knowledge about the code base.
I don't see any aspect of abuse of authority/privilege here, just an employee/employer contract dispute.