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Upon Exit, Ronald Hovsepian and Co. May ‘Loot’ Novell One Last Time

Posted in Finance, Novell at 8:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“What we [Novell and Microsoft] agreed, which is true, is we’ll continue to try to grow Windows share at the expense of Linux. That’s kind of our job. But to the degree that people are going to deploy Linux, we want Suse Linux to have the highest percent share of that, because only a customer who has Suse Linux actually has paid properly for the use of intellectual property from Microsoft. And we took a quota, you could say, to help them sell so much Suse Linux. That’s part of the deal. We are willing to do the same deal with Red Hat and other Linux distributors, it’s not an exclusive thing. But after a few years of working on this problem, Novell actually saw the business opportunity, because there’s so many customers who say, ‘Hey look, we don’t want problems. We don’t want any intellectual property problem or anything else. There’s just a variety of workloads where we, today, feel like we want to run Linux. Please help us Microsoft and please work with the distributors to solve this problem, don’t come try to license this individually.’ So customer push drove us to where we got.”

Steve Ballmer

Summary: Novell’s leadership was sacking many workers (even low-grade SUSE developers) while taking about $6 million in bonuses every year and now potentially more

The VAR Guy, who has friends at Novell and sometimes accepts payments from Novell to plant their ‘articles’, has gotten some inside information that nobody else pays attention to. He explains: “The list above includes executives with extensive channel experience — such as Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer John Dragoon, who serves as the company’s current channel chief; and Senior VP of Worldwide Sales Javier Colado, who previously served as channel chief.

“According to a table in the SEC filing, certain executives could receive cash payments if the merger closes on March 9, 2011 and their positions are terminated on such date. In that scenario, CEO Ronald Hovsepian would receive a $6.85 million lump some cash payment plus certain health and dental coverage and 401K matching contributions. Also, Channel Chief John Dragoon would receive a $1.95 million lump sum if his position is terminated March 9; and former Channel Chief Javier Colado would receive a $2.39 million million lump sum cash payment if his position is terminated March 9.”

Is this the reward for having a company destroyed? And for passing a lot of patents to an abusive monopolist that threatens Novell products? This makes no sense. The company itself seems like it’s going into the ashtray, at least some major parts of it.

While there are still some news items that mention Novell Netware, Brian Proffitt believes that this product walks its last mile :

As Novell and Attachmate continue to perform the ritual mating dance of corporate acquisition, Linux and open source community members are holding their breath, waiting to see what will happen to the SUSE Linux and openSUSE product lines.

In the midst of this, one question seems to be missing: What will happen to NetWare?

To get an idea of where NetWare might be going, it would be a good idea of finding out where the status of the old NetWare product line, now known as Novell’s Open Enterprise Server (OES).


In some respects, the migration plan to OES is working. “…[M]ore than 75% of current NetWare-Open Enterprise Server customers have upgraded their systems to Open Enterprise Server on Linux,” Germanides indicated.

But what will AttachMSFT [sic] do with SUSE and OES? AttachMSFT has no history of committing to free/open source software and this is mostly fine given that Novell’s products portfolio is predominantly proprietary. To use proof from the past month, Novell’s PR team is helping SAP [1, 2, 3] (see our SAP wiki page), helping Fog Computing of course, and delivering more proprietary software while citing Gartner

New releases from Novell are also of proprietary software, e.g. ZENworks 11 [1, 2, 3]. Novell once again gets ridiculed for concentrating on Vista 7 in ZENworks 11:

In the company press statement the word ‘Windows 7′ appears more than 4 times, whereas Linux pops-up only once, which made me wonder if its a Novell press release or from the new ‘proxy’ owner of Novell technologies — Microsoft.

In later posts we are going to give more new examples where Novell promotes proprietary software, even its competition’s. It wasn’t always that way; the management did a poor job and it now rewards itself for this.

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