Novell: Will Some Executives Exit March 9?

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SUSE

Let’s assume Attachmate finalizes the Novell acquisition on March 9, 2011. According to an SEC filing, Certain Novell executives could earn $1.38 million to $6.85 million in lump sum cash payments if their positions are terminated on that date. So which Novell executives are staying and which ones may leave with a hefty bounty? The VAR Guy doesn’t know for sure. But here’s a look at potential severance packages, including potential cash payouts for Novell’s CEO and Novell’s channel chief.

A December 2010 SEC filing from Novell states:

Each of our executive officers (consisting of Ronald W. Hovsepian, our President and Chief Executive Officer, Dana C. Russell, our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, John K. Dragoon, our Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Joseph H. Wagner, our Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Alliances, Russell C. Poole, our Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Scott N. Semel, our Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, James P. Ebzery, our Senior Vice President and General Manager, Security, Management and Operating Platforms, Colleen A. O’Keefe, our Senior Vice President and General Manager, Collaboration Solutions and Global Services and Javier F. Colado, our Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales), is eligible for severance benefits under severance agreements with us.

The list above includes executives with extensive channel experience — such as Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer John Dragoon, who serves as the company’s current channel chief; and Senior VP of Worldwide Sales Javier Colado, who previously served as channel chief.

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Also: Over the last few months, I've frequently pointed out the vulnerability of important open source projects that are supported and controlled by corporate sponsors, rather than hosted by independent foundations funded by corporate sponsors. One of the examples I've given is SUSE Linux, which has been hosted and primarily supported by Novell since that company acquired SuSE Linux AG in 2003. Novell, as you know, is expected to be acquired by a company called Attachmate a few weeks from now, assuming approval of the transaction by the Novell stockholders and by German competition regulators.

Recently, the future of the SUSE Linux Project (as compared to the Novell commercial Linux distribution based on the work of that project) has become rather murky, as reported by Pamela Jones, at Groklaw. Apparently, Novell is facilitating some sort of spin out of the Project, which is good but peculiar news.

Rest of Attachmate and the SUSE Linux Project: What's Next?