Novell loses another executive

Novell, in its transition to a Linux and management services company, again settled its ranks with the announcement of the departure of Richard Seibt, head of Novell's Europe, Middle East and Africa operations.

Seibt, who was formerly CEO of SuSE Linux before its acquisition by Novell in 2003, will be replaced by Ron Hovsepian, president of Novell's Worldwide Field Operations.

This is not the first departure for the company, which is trying to reverse losses for its flagship Novell operating system and enter a market - Linux and open source - that for it is new.

Last fall saw the departure of Co-Chairman Chris Stone, who is credited with much of Novell's Linux vision. CTO Alan Nugent followed Stone out the door in March of this year. Stone landed at StreamServe; Nugent at Computer Associates.

Plus, former chief marketing officer Deb Bergavine recently left to pursue other interests, as Novell says. Bergavine had earlier been replaced by Bill Hewitt, formerly of PeopleSoft.

Of Novell's Worldwide Management Committee, only one long-term Novell executive remains: Angie Anderson, vice president and general manager. The major portion of Novell's management came from Novell's acquisitions of Cambridge Technology Partners, Ximian and Silverstream.

Whether all these departures signal a shift in Novell's strategy or simply signal CEO and Chairman Jack Messman putting trust in advisors he has worked with in the past, is not known. But losing one in four of its management team may portend further changes for Novell.

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