New boss has six months to make Novell work

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Ron Hovsepian, the new chief executive at Novell, will have to improve the company's sales in the next six months or face the same fate as predecessor Jack Messman, according to analysts.

"He doesn't have much time," says Laurent Lachal, senior analyst at Ovum. "Novell needs good figures — if not next quarter, then the following one."

Hovsepian was put in place yesterday after Novell's board, tired of seeing Novell's profits fall while rival Red Hat's surged, sacked Messman.

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New Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian and Novell channel chief Steve Erdman spoke with CRN Editor In Chief Heather Clancy and senior writer Paula Rooney about the company's strategy in the wake of the departure of CEO Jack Messman. Below are excerpts from the interview.

CRN: Was Messman ousted by the board?

Hovsepian: It was the board's decision to sever the relationship with Jack and (CFO) Joe Tibbets. That was the board's decision. I was not in the board meeting.

CRN: How do you want to run the ship and what are you going to do to try to make Novell a Linux leader?

Full Interview.