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How to Save Your Neck in a Four Easy Steps

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Say what you will about Novell CEO Jack Messman-- and believe me, many people are these days-- he's no dummy. Maybe it's for the good of Novell or maybe just to save his own neck, but since early September when Blum Capital and Credit Suisse First Boston went public with their gripes that the former railroad exec was fumbling Novell's golden opportunity to be the Red Hat challenger, he has been making big conciliatory moves fast.

First there was a whole new Messman at Novell’s annual BrainShare conference. Analysts said he was more open and cooperative than they’d ever seen him. I did a story on Novell for BusinessWeek, and the often-prickly Messman gave me a lot of time, opened up, and answered some tough questions.

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