Novell Announces Sweeping Management Changes

Power base shifts from West to East Coast

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As expected, Novell has announced sweeping management changes.

As first reported by CRN in late February, Novell CEO Jack Messman is cleaning house roughly a year after Novell's merger with Cambridge Technology Partners and a year after taking the helm at Novell.

Following the resignation of Novell COO Stewart Nelson late last month, the Provo-based software company announced this week the departure of several other longtime Novell executives including Craig Miller, vice president and general manager of Net Management Group; Paul Smart, vice president and general manager of Novell's Net Directory business; and Marty Deise, senior vice president of solutions.

Novell also announced this week that Carl Ledbetter, Novell's CTO, will retain that title and fill Nelson's shoes as senior vice president, Engineering/Research and Development. He will be in charge of product development efforts in Provo, Bangalore, India, Massachusetts and California, and will report to Chris Stone, who was recently appointed to vice chairman in the company's Office of the CEO following Stewart's resignation.

Stone, a former Novell executive and founder of Maynard, Mass.-based Tilion Software, will take over responsibilities for Novell's engineering, marketing, alliances and consulting functions and will be based in Cambridge, Mass., the home of Cambridge Technology Partners (CTP).

That appointment signals a major shift in Novell's power base and heritage, channel partner say. Novell announced its intent to acquire CTP in March of 2001. The deal closed last July.

"The trouble I see is that Novell is starting to look too much like CTP rather than Novell," said one longtime Novell partner who declined to be named. "Whether this is good or bad for Novell I don't know."

Another unnamed solution provider said he, too, has noticed the power shift from Utah to Cambridge, Mass., but he also is unclear if this will help or hurt the software company. "Stewart was obviously a Novell guy, and I think that over time all of the key Novell guys are being replaced by CTP people," said the Novell partner. "I don't know if it's good or bad, it's just what I see happening."

Meanwhile, Messman, who has undergone treatment this week for a bleeding ulcer, is expected to be released from a Utah hospital on Thursday and will head back to the Boston area, a Novell spokesman said.

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