12.24.08

Stephen Pollack (PlateSpin CEO) Quits Novell; More Shuffles in Canada

Posted in Novell, Virtualisation at 4:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Management leaves the struggling former network juggernaut

Halloween hand
Adios!

Pollack is a figure whom we mentioned here before [1, 2, 3] because his company got devoured after a rather mysterious Novell acquisition that hardly made strategic sense at the time. Not much news has come since then, so to be brutally frank, it does not seem as though Novell made progress this way. It just needed to show its investors some concrete signs that it was changing and not staying idle while big losses carried on. Jack Messman, after all, was probably pressured out for being too passive.

It wasn’t long ago that Mark Pileski and Brett Johnson — both PlateSpin seniors — quit Novell. The former CEO of PlateSpin has been dancing a little with multiple companies recently [1, 2] and now it’s confirmed that he quit Novell.

So why did Pollack leave Novell? Was it time? And what are his future plans? I was able to catch up with him briefly, and asked him these very questions.

[...]

Pollack stayed on with Novell after the acquisition but has since left. Recently, his name surfaced again in the media and the blogosphere when he joined the Advisor Board of two startup virtualization companies: Embotics and Enomaly.

Didn’t Novell see it as an obligation to inform shareholders about this fairly major departure?

“Didn’t Novell see it as an obligation to inform shareholders about this fairly major departure?”This is actually similar to this month’s departure of a Senior Vice President (SVP) at Microsoft, who came to the monopolist after the acquisition of aQuantive where he was the CEO. Microsoft made almost nothing out of aQuantive and it continues losing billions of dollars online.

Speaking of SVPs, Novell’s Roger Levy, who will continue to report to Jeff Jaffe, is Novell’s Senior Vice President mostly responsible for strategy (and probably a major part of the PlateSpin decision). His remit or role is being extended to more areas right now and recently he had a sort of an interview with the Var Guy about these. We also remarked on Novell’s direction under Justin Steinman's increased power in leadership. Both him and Levy have made some damning statements that we covered in the past, so there’s reason for cautious concern.

There are other new moves in Novell that are worth noting, such as this one. Novell continues to suffer a leadership instability in Canada (too many head-changes).

With the promotion of Katie McAuliff to vice-president of channels, Novell Americas, Novell Canada turned to a long-time Novell mainstay in tapping the subsidiary’s chief technology officer, Ross Chevalier, to lead the Canadian operation.

We previously mentioned Ross Chevalier in [1, 2, 3, 4] and we also caught him breathing down a blogger's neck. Ross was also so ‘keen’ on promoting ‘Freedom’ that in October he said that “It’s not about replacing Windows with Linux, it’s about making it dead simple for the two to work together.”

Would Microsoft say that its intentions or ideas are “not about replacing Linux with Windows?” Novell seems to have been bamboozled if it’s too naive to spot Microsoft’s Linux FUD (“Get the Facts” is still alive). Novell has already pulled its pages that put down Windows. It targets Red Hat and UNIX instead.

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