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Novell Still in Exodus Mode: Channel Chief Quits Just Months After Joining


We have identified Pat Bernard on numerous occasions since she joined Novell (also mentioned here). She was supposed to coordinate an important transition and restore Novell's reach to customers. Well, it appears not to have worked out too well. She is already leaving the company.

Novell Channel Chief Pat Bernard has left the company, and Tim Wolfe (pictured) is now serving as acting VP of global channel sales. Has Bernard landed a new job elsewhere? The VAR Guy is digging for answers.


The more The VAR Guy reads this, the more it seems like Novell is in reaction mode — perhaps issuing a statement very quickly because of a surprise change in Bernard’s career commitments. Of course, that’s complete speculation from The VAR Guy — a trait of his that most readers have learned to deal with..


Back in July, Novell executive VP of worldwide sales Thomas Francese left the company as part of an “unfortunate but needed step to help boost operating profits,” according to a research note from Jefferies & Co., which Barron’s covered. But Jefferies & Co. also stated that Novell was nearly recession proof.

There is some further confirmation of this in CRN.

Novell's channel management is undergoing another change, less than a year after the software vendor extensively overhauled its channel program.

Tim Wolfe, president and general manager of Novell Americas, will serve as acting vice president of global channel sales effective immediately, replacing Pat Bernard who was just named to the position last November, the company said early Tuesday.

Novell's sales director in South Africa seems to have left just a while ago, bur it's only part of a much bigger problem [1, 2]. With layoffs ahead, buybacks in progress [1, 2] and having to cope with the fact that Thomas Francese has just left, it's better not to bet your business on Novell. It's too much of a gamble because the growing GNU/Linux companies are some of Novell's competitors (e.g. Red Hat, Canonical). Novell rests in its past while the legacy dwindles.

“Last year, Novell reorganised the business into specialised divisions. We had to follow at some stage and decided to do these at the same time of Masie's exit. The alternative was to wait a few months, but that would have subjected our workforce to two periods of change.”

--Desan Naidoo, interim country manager, Novell South Africa

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