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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 distributors.

"The company, whose Caldera Open Linux distribution had achieved wide acceptance before it was withdrawn from the retail channel in 2000, reports that its second-quarter revenues will fall between 15 and 20 percent short of estimates, coming in at between $15.1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..."

Complete Story

"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 softened previously..."

Interview with Ransom Love

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