Management restructure at Novell

22 Jun 2006

Networking software company Novell has replaced CEO Jack Messman with new CEO Ronald Hovsepian. It has also replaced its chief financial officer (CFO) with an interim CFO and has instigated a search for a new permanent CFO.

The company said the move was made in order to accelerate its growth plans following a period of disappointing financial results, particularly in the company’s Linux business.

Messman and former CFO Joseph Tibbetts left Novell’s employment yesterday and the company’s vice-president in charge of finance Dana Russell has assumed the role of interim CFO.

The Utah-based company has also appointed a new non-executive chairman Thomas Plaskett. Commenting on the management restructure, Plaskett said: “The board concluded that a management change would be the best way to accelerate the execution of our growth strategy and build value for shareholders.”

On Hovsepian’s appointment, Plaskett said: “Ron is 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. He is a talented and proven executive with deep knowledge and expertise in the infrastructure software business and the enterprise market.”

Industry veteran Hovsepian spent 17 years at IBM and prior to his appointment was chief operating officer of Novell.

He commented: “I am very enthusiastic about the opportunity to lead Novell and to aggressively execute our strategic plan. In recent months we have adopted a comprehensive strategy, strengthened our portfolio through both acquisitions and organic growth and divested the non-core Celerant business.

“Although we still have much to do, these steps have positioned us to take full advantage of recent trends towards a mixed source computing environment based on open source and open standards,” Hovsepian said.

By John Kennedy