Bonum Certa Men Certa

Two Novell Directors Quit the Company

Oriskany ship sinks



Under the radar of much of the press, two Novell directors appear to have walked out. They are likely skilled at virtualisation, which is an important area where Novell hopes to win using software patents and exclusivity with Microsoft.

Anyway, here are the details.

Mark Pileski was most recently director of corporate marketing for Novell, which he joined with the acquisition of PlateSpin. He has spent more than 10 years helping to grow software companies.

[...]

And now one month later, Novell loses another former key PlateSpin employee, Brett Johnson -- the company's Director of Sales for Eastern North America.


Two directors may not seem like much to lose. but recently we considered this part of a pattern and a trend. Previous major departures include Martin Buckley (he moved to Novell's partner, Microsoft), Novell's Channel Chief, Bruce Lowry, Novell’s PR Director, Joseph LaSala, the General Counsel, and even a Vice President.

“Perhaps the existing staff sees what’s coming (other than the layoffs and offshoring).”A lot of top-level people are also leaving Microsoft. Maybe Novell can fill up its gaps by hiring them as a perfect fit amid the company's newly-found obsession with .NET, OOXML, ActiveX, Vista, and Silverlight.

Breifing.com describes Novell's revenue growth as "sluggish". Perhaps the existing staff sees what's coming (other than the layoffs and offshoring). Matt Asay, a former Novell employee, suggests that Novell engineers are trying to escape the company.

Financially, Novell is doing badly, especially once those cash infusions from Microsoft are unaccounted for. This won't last forever because Microsoft is still embracing and extending Novell. It's not ready to extinguish or take over just yet.

Novell underplays its own potential. In fact, the bland headline of the latest press release, "Novell Reports Financial Results for Third Fiscal Quarter 2008", showed that Novell has nothing to brag about. Such headlines can be made more enthusiastic. In reality, as Trading Markets put it, Novell Q3 loss widens.

Novell has reported a net loss of $15.12m for the third quarter 2008, against a loss of $3.67m a year ago, on revenue up 4% at $245m. The loss was attributed to an impairment charge related to auction-rate securities.


As pointed out the other day, this is debt write-off. Novell is in bigger trouble than most people realise and it continues to depend on Microsoft heavily. Novell is nowhere in terms of value. Akamai Technologies, whose use of GNU/Linux is well known (even Microsoft is a client), has a market cap which doubles that of Novell. This ought to put things in perspective and show how feeble Novell has become.

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