Global channel boss parts company with Novell

Mark Hardardt, Novell’s VP and general manager for partners and channels, has parted company with the software vendor. Hardardt’s decision to leave coincides with the formal announcement of Novell’s global restructuring plan, which will see the open source and identity management software vendor slash some 600 jobs worldwide.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  November 6, 2005

Mark Hardardt, Novell’s VP and general manager for partners and channels, has parted company with the software vendor. Hardardt’s decision to leave coincides with the formal announcement of Novell’s global restructuring plan, which will see the open source and identity management software vendor slash some 600 jobs. Hardardt had been responsible for ensuring that Novell’s indirect sales partners had the skills, tools and culture to help customers solve challenges relating to secure identity management, web application development and cross-platform services. Novell has yet to name a replacement for Hardardt. While Novell is currently assessing its channel strategy, no major changes are expected in its go-to-market model. In terms of its overall global restructuring, Novell has confirmed that it will concentrate its business on growth opportunities in the Linux, open source and identity and resource management markets. The shift in focus and restructuring is expected to strip out more that US$110m of annual run rate expenses. Novell expects to take a restructuring charge of between US$30m and US$35 for its fourth fiscal quarter ended October 31st 2005. Jack Messman, Novell’s chairman and CEO, said, “This cost restructuring initiative is part of the comprehensive transformation of Novell’s business that the management team has been designing and implementing over the past year. While it is a difficult decision to eliminate positions in our talented and dedicated workforce, this move is necessary to ensure that our costs are more closely aligned with our business strategy.” “This is a decisive, yet disciplined, cost reduction action that balances the need to be fiscally prudent with the need to continually seek growth opportunities and generate long-term profitability in a highly competitive marketplace,” he added. The restructuring is expected to be completed by the end of Novell’s first fiscal quarter ending January 2006 and will see the vendor layoff more than 10% of its total workforce. However, Novell employees in the Middle East have stated that the regional operation will not be affected by the cutbacks. “The key driver in this cost reduction is to focus more of our resources on our growth areas,” said Joseph S. Tibbetts, Jr., senior VP and CFO at Novell. “By doing so, we will be able to reduce product development expenses, consolidate our worldwide operations, better focus our marketing efforts and realise operational efficiencies in the general and administrative function. While the cost reductions will result in some lost revenue opportunities, the net result is expected to be improved profitability as we enter fiscal year 2006.” Novell is also assessing its position in the consulting arena. The company has appointed CitiGroup Corporate and Investment Banking to explore strategic alternatives for Celerant, Novell’s consulting subsidiary. Novell had previously stated that it intended to separate Celerant from Novell when conditions were appropriate.

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