"The sudden departure of Novell Inc.'s chief executive officer,
Jack Messman, is an uncharacteristic move for the quiet software
giant, underlining its desire to mount a more aggressive challenge
to Microsoft Corp.'s domination of the business desktop.
"The writing had been on the wall for Mr. Messman and chief
financial officer Joseph Tibbetts since the release of Novell's
disappointing quarterly results on May 31, which drove shares down
22 per cent in three weeks. Chairman Thomas Plaskett was quick to
say that naming sales specialist Ron Hovsepian as CEO last week
wasn't a rethinking of Novell's acquisition of SUSE Linux, which
Mr. Messman engineered in 2004--it was because the strategy around
the open-source operating system wasn't paying off fast
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