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Novell Continues to Show Signs of Crumbling

Posted in America, Free/Libre Software, Mail, Microsoft, Novell at 4:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Much like buybacks (Novell recently resorted to them [1, 2]), changing of heads in a company is a great sign of weakness. This continues to happen at Novell.

Some weeks ago we noted that some head-changing moves in Novell Canada ought to at least be mentioned. There is now some clearer proof of this. This one is the latest:

Former Novell Canada president Katie McAuliff is looking at ways to improve channel partner profitability in her new role as Novell Americas channel chief.

More here about the new leadership:

I am very happy for Chevalier for a couple of reasons. First he has paid his dues and deserves a shot at running the Canadian operation. Secondly, he is a channel advocate and will try his best to create a win-win culture for Novell and its ever growing partner base.

Chevalier replaces Katie McAuliff, who is going off to run the
Americas channel. I do not want to be overly critical of McAuliff because she made a lot of time for CDN during her tenure as Novell
Canada president and I do appreciate that.

The fact that McAuliff spent time here and learned the way this market works will only help Novell
Canada partners since she is running that channel.

Related to this but not quite the same, Novell is losing customers to Microsoft. Yet again. We mentioned more examples just an hour ago.

Computer Service Partners, a Raleigh-based IT Integrator was recently selected by CommunityONE Bank, N.A. to migrate 550 employees in 49 different locations from Novell to Microsoft E-mail and Domain Controller solutions, and concurrently consolidate operations at the bank’s corporate data center in Asheboro. CSP will also deploy Cisco IP phone systems initially in seven community offices, and over time implement Cisco Unified Communications solutions organization wide at CommunityONE.

Novell is a frail company. It still relies heavily on its legacy, which is being devoured by competitors, however gradually.

This may be another reason for you or your business not to adopt Novell’s ‘solutions’ (that’s how Novell and Microsoft perceive Free software).

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  1. David Flax said,

    May 24, 2008 at 7:34 am


    Changing executives is a sign of weakness. Are you serious? Novell promotes from within their company and that’s a bad sign.? No I think that’s a good sign. You really don’t know what you are talking about. Novell is not frail. Look at their balance sheet, they are cash heavy with over $1 billion in cash and cash equivalents. Compare that to leader Red Hat who has almost $600 million in cash from their latet 10-Qs. That’s why the stock buybacks were a good idea for Novell not a bad one. They have a ton of cash.

    You take things out of context only show small parts and then criticize that which you do not understand. I understand that you don’t like Novell for what they have done but you should at least have some understanding of the facts.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 24, 2008 at 8:41 am


    Changing executives is a sign of weakness. Are you serious?

    Yes, I certainly am.

    You need to see what I wrote previously when I first saw this head-change in progress. This in-house promotion means that someone is leaving or has left.

    Microsoft too tried to stage/spin top executives jumping ship as a victory by claiming in-house promotions. That was a recent incident that was too big to be missed. See:

    How to Spin Executive Exodus as Wonderful News

    Companies are quieter about departures (low-noting) and louder about hires and promotions. That’s how it’s done.

  3. AlexH said,

    May 24, 2008 at 10:51 am


    “Much like buybacks (Novell recently resorted to them [1, 2]), changing of heads in a company is a great sign of weakness.”

    Stock buy-backs are rarely a sign of weakness. The only way a stock buy-back is bad for a business is if the business pays too much for the stock. That really doesn’t look the case at Novell.

    I agree with David; executive departures are also not such a sign. If people were departing en masse, then yes. But a company as big as Novell will inevitably lose employees year-in year-out; it’s the same at any other business. They may not like to trumpet those people going, but it’s natural wastage and not really a sign of weakness.

  4. ham said,

    May 24, 2008 at 6:03 pm


    Sounds like Alex & David would enjoy a Ballmer egg sandwich.

  5. David Flax said,

    May 24, 2008 at 8:52 pm


    Why because Alex and I have other facts that are not mentioned. We also speak the truth just not the truth that you care to believe. Anyway let’s again look at Red Hat. Did they not lose two executives this year? I believe the answer is yes. They lost Sean Connolly and Matt Szulik. Both much heavier hitters than Novell promoting a new person from Canada to lead Novell Americas. I guess it just depends on who you want to report on and what you want to believe.

    I can’t reallly look at Canonical and Ubuntu since they are private and don’t have to report anything.of substance to the public so we really don’t know what has and has not happened with them.

    What Andy and I are doing is taking a different look at what Roy is discussing. Isn’t that what the community does as well?

  6. Microsoft = Corruption said,

    May 24, 2008 at 9:17 pm



    blah blah blah blah blah

    go eat some eggs

  7. David Flax said,

    May 24, 2008 at 9:43 pm


    Spoken like someone afraid of the truth.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 24, 2008 at 10:23 pm



    Please explain to me why the departure of X people is OK and only the departure of X*Y makes it a sign of weakness. It’s like saying “I’m just a little bit pregnant.”

  9. David Flax said,

    May 24, 2008 at 10:47 pm


    I think you misunderstand. You seem to be making the point that losing executives is a bad sign for any company. I disagree. You mention that a promotion means someone has left. OK I agree but it happens to all companies including Red Hat. I just used as an example that Red Hat seems to be doing fine since Szulik left and he is a much bigger hitter in the F/OSS world that Ann McAuliff is. You make it sound like Novell is a frail company because someone left and people are promoted. If Red Hat and other companies do fine when executives leave why can’t Novell or for that matter Microsoft do OK as well? It’s OK for people to leave for a myriad of reasons and overall it becomes a small bump in the road that is compensated for over time.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 24, 2008 at 10:57 pm



    We are not discussing Red Hat though, do we?

    Repeatedly I see vigorous defense of Microsoft* that comes in the form of presentation of old IBM corruptions. What does IBM have to do with it? Nothing, of course. It’s a tactic of diversion though. Also s see:


    *Last seen yesterday at night when I brought up the subject in a forum I participate in.

  11. David Flax said,

    May 24, 2008 at 11:28 pm


    True Red Hat is not part of the discussion but there is nothing wrong with using them as an example. You make the unfounded point that Novell is weak because a promotion was made in house as though that is a bad thing. My point is it happens in all companies including those that are largely supported by the open source community. I’m not using a diversion tactic. I’m using Red Hat as an example. I could have used any number of companies, I chose Red Hat because they are the market leader in the Linux world right now.

    We learn for the past and its use as examples helps all of us understand why tactics do and don’t work.

  12. self_liar said,

    May 24, 2008 at 11:41 pm


    Exists a c# to java converter?

  13. beast feast said,

    May 26, 2008 at 1:40 am


    “Spoken like someone afraid of the truth.”

    Sorry, you into enemas more than sandwiches? I can’t keep up with the breakfast of shills anymore……

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