Novell Highlights Linux Plans With Exec Change, Rebate Program

Ron Hovsepian will lead


Novell's transition


to Linux.

Novell officials announced today that Ron Hovsepian will take over immediately as Novell's new CEO. Hovsepian, 45, replaces Jack Messman, who became CEO shortly after the 2001 purchase of Cambridge Technology Partners, which Messman led. Well known in the channel, Hovespian had been serving as Novell's president and COO since November.

In addition to tapping Hovespian as chief executive, Novell's board also ousted CFO Joseph Tibbets and named Thomas Plaskett as chairman. Dana Russell will serve as interim CFO, officials said.

In a statement, Plaskett said the management change was "the best way to accelerate the execution of our growth strategy and build value for shareholders." Novell stocks have been in a funk, with shares down nearly 35 percent this year.

Plaskett called Hovespian "the ideal choice to lead the company as we continue with our transition to Linux-based products and identity and resource management, and leverage our unique support of mixed source environments."

Sponsored post

The executive shuffle comes as Novell strives to leverage its purchase of SUSE Linux and to be seen as a strong Linux player. The company is set to roll out its enterprise Linux desktop operating system in the coming months and has been ratcheting up the marketing of its Linux server software as well.

As part of that effort, Novell earlier this week announced a program to boost channel sales of its enterprise SUSE Linux line with a new, 20-point rebate program for qualified resellers.

The program is open to any Novell PartnerNet reseller or any VAR who purchases Novell products through Tech Data, Ingram Micro, Avent Partner Solutions, Bell Microproducts or Synnex. Qualifying sales of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server or SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop made between June 1, 2006, and April 30, 2007, will earn the reseller a 20-point rebate.

The rebates will be paid quarterly to VARs directly from Novell.

Interested resellers should register at or call (800) 529-3400 for more information.