Novell ousts Messman

Software outfit Novell has shuffled its senior management pack after the Board of Directors ousted CEO Jack Messman and CFO Joseph Tibbetts. Ron Hovsepian has stepped into the CEO hot seat with Dana Russell, previously VP of finance and corporate controller taking on the role of interim CFO.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  June 25, 2006

Software outfit Novell has shuffled its senior management pack after the Board of Directors ousted CEO Jack Messman and CFO Joseph Tibbetts. Ron Hovsepian has stepped into the CEO hot seat with Dana Russell, previously VP of finance and corporate controller taking on the role of interim CFO. Hovsepian said: “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.” “Going forward, we will maintain a sharp focus on meeting customer demand and delivering value through Linux-based, enterprise-wide solutions and identity and resource management products,” he continued. “We have innovative technology, a strong roster of customers and business partners and an extremely talented group of employees. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our business partners and customers.” Hovsepian concluded: “I am pleased that Dana Russell has agreed to assume the responsibilities of interim CFO. Over the past 12 years, Dana has gained experience in numerous parts of the business, including finance and tax, and he is an expert in our financial operations and controls.” Thomas Plaskett, a director at Novell since November 2002, has been elected as non-executive chairman of the Novell Board. Plaskett stated: “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. 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.” “Following his 17-year career at IBM and other industry experiences, Ron has rapidly progressed through top positions at Novell over the past three years,” continued Plaskett. “He has played an integral role in developing the company’s operating strategy and fully understands Novell’s compelling growth opportunities. He has forged close relationships with key customers and is highly regarded by the Board and employees throughout our organisation.”

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