Linux and Main: Problems at Caldera, Interview with Love
May 10, 2002, 01:00 (26 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis E. Powell)
"Things do not seem to be working out as planned for Caldera
International, Inc., once one of the biggest Linux
"The company, whose Caldera Open Linux distribution had achieved
wide acceptance before it was withdrawn from the retail channel in
2000, reports that its second-quarter revenues will fall between 15
and 20 percent short of estimates, coming in at between $15.1 and
$15.5 million. The company had earlier estimated that revenues
would be as high as $18 million for the quarter.
"Once a leading Linux distributor, Caldera went public with an
initial public offering in March 2000 that, while successful by
many standards, fell short of earlier public offerings from Red Hat
and VA Linux. A year ago, the company announced that it had
acquired the Server Software and Professional Services divisions of
the Santa Cruz Operation, publisher of SCO Unit and Unixware. What
was left of SCO changed its name to "Tarantella," while Caldera
Systems, Inc., redubbed itself Caldera International..."
"Ransom H. Love is a well-known name in the Linux world.
As president and chief executive officer of Caldera, Inc., Caldera
Systems, Inc., and now Caldera International, Inc., he has overseen
development and marketing of one of the most highly regarded Linux
distributions -- as well as his company's initial public offering,
its acquisition of substantial part of the Santa Cruz Operation and
its Unix assets, and Caldera's decision to withdraw from the retail
end-user channel. Late Wednesday, Caldera announced that its
quarterly revenues had fallen well below estimates, which resulted
in a loss Thursday of nearly one-fourth of Caldera share value. In
an interview with Linux and Main, Love described where the company
has been and where he hopes it's headed.
"LaM: How are things at Caldera? Not what you
had hoped, surely.
"Love: I hate to take a negative and entirely
make it into a positive, but in reality some of it is just the
ongoing work of streamlining the business, and, frankly, we're
making tremendous progress there. So while the announcement was of
declining revenues, I think that it's an extremely tough market.
Because, as you know, we're tied in to maky of the Fortune
500-1,000 companies, who when the economy fluctuates do, too.
Clearly, they're not installing as many servers and opening up as
many offices, and that does tend to impact us. Primarily, this came
from a little bit more of a decline in Europe. I think in Europe
it's just beginning to soften, where other parts of the world have
Interview with Ransom Love