Novell Names Ron Hovsepian To Succeed Jack Messman as CEO
Thomas G. Plaskett elected Chairman of the Board
Joseph Tibbetts to leave company; Dana Russell named interim CFO
Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVL) today announced that its Board of Directors has elected President Ronald W. Hovsepian, 45, to the additional position of chief executive officer, effective immediately. Hovsepian, who also has been elected to the Board of Directors, has been president and chief operating officer since October 2005. The Company also announced that Thomas G. Plaskett, a director of Novell since November 2002, has been elected non-executive Chairman of the Novell Board.
Novell's Board of Directors has determined that former CEO Jack L. Messman, 66, and former CFO Joseph S. Tibbetts, Jr., 53, will leave Novell's employment, effective June 21. Mr. Messman will remain on Novell's Board of Directors until Oct. 31, 2006. Dana C. Russell, 44, Novell's current vice president of finance and corporate controller, has been appointed interim CFO while the company conducts a search for a permanent replacement.
Mr. Plaskett stated: "The Board concluded that a management change would be the best way to accelerate the execution of our growth strategy and build value for shareholders. Ron is the ideal choice to lead the company as we continue with our transition to Linux-based products and identity and resource management and leverage our unique support of mixed source environments. He is a talented and proven executive with deep knowledge and expertise in the infrastructure software business and the enterprise market. Following his 17 year career at IBM and other industry experiences, Ron has rapidly progressed through top positions at Novell over the past three years. He has played an integral role in developing the company's operating strategy and fully understands Novell's compelling growth opportunities. He has forged close relationships with key customers and is highly regarded by the Board and employees throughout our organization."
Hovsepian said: "I am very enthusiastic about the opportunity to lead Novell and to aggressively execute our strategic plan. In recent months, we have adopted a comprehensive strategy, strengthened our portfolio through both acquisitions and organic growth, and divested the non-core Celerant business. Although we still have much to do, these steps have positioned us to take full advantage of recent trends towards a mixed source computing environment based on open source and open standards."
Hovsepian continued: "Going forward, we will maintain a sharp focus on meeting customer demand and delivering value through Linux-based, enterprise-wide solutions and identity and resource management products. We have innovative technology, a strong roster of customers and business partners and an extremely talented group of employees. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our business partners and customers."
Hovsepian concluded: "I am pleased that Dana Russell has agreed to assume the responsibilities of interim CFO. Over the past 12 years, Dana has gained experience in numerous parts of the business, including finance and tax, and he is an expert in our financial operations and controls."
Commenting on these changes, Plaskett stated: "The Board is grateful for Jack's and Joe's service to the company. Jack has been a director since the company's founding, and he and Joe helped lead Novell through a period of dramatic change in the software and information technology sectors. In particular, the company's decision under Jack's leadership to adopt an open source-based strategy put Novell at the center of one of the most significant computing developments in the last decade. We wish them further success in their future endeavors."
Ron Hovsepian is president, chief executive officer and a member of the Board of Directors. He previously served as president and chief operating officer. In that role, he had direct worldwide responsibility for product development, marketing, and field operations, which includes sales, consulting and technical services. He joined Novell in June 2003 as president of North America, and has led the transformation of global field operations since May 2005. Previously, Hovsepian held management and executive positions at IBM Corporation over a 17 year period, including serving as worldwide general manager of IBM's distribution industries, where he managed global hardware and software development, sales, marketing and services. With stints in various sales and marketing positions prior to taking profit and loss responsibility at several IBM units, he has a proven track record of achieving revenue goals and profit growth in the IT solutions business. He also served as a managing director of Internet Capital Group, a venture capital firm. Hovsepian is currently non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ann Taylor Corporation. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston College.
Conference Call and Webcast Information
Novell, Inc. will conduct a one-hour conference call with management on Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 8:30 a.m. ET. The conference call will be available live as a listen-only webcast at: www.novell.com/company/ir. The domestic toll-free dial in number is 866-335-5255, password "Novell". The international dial-in number is +1-706-679-2263, password "Novell". The call will be archived on the web site approximately 15 minutes after its conclusion, and will be available for telephone playback through midnight ET, June 30. The domestic toll-free replay number is 800-642-1687, and the international replay number is +1-706-645-9291. Replay listeners must enter conference ID number 2096270.
Legal notice regarding forward-looking statements
This press release includes statements that are not historical in nature and that may be characterized as "forward-looking statements," including those related to future financial and operating results, benefits and synergies of the company's brands and strategies, future opportunities and the growth of the market for Identity and Resource Management and Open Platform Solutions. You should be aware that Novell's actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations of Novell management and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, Novell's ability to integrate acquired operations and employees, Novell's success in executing its Linux and identity and resource management strategies, Novell's ability to take a competitive position in the Linux and identity and resource management industries, business conditions and the general economy, market opportunities, potential new business strategies, competitive factors, sales and marketing execution, shifts in technologies or market demand and the other factors described in Novell's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 10, 2006. Novell disclaims any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release.
Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers Software for the Open Enterprise™. With more than 50,000 customers in 43 countries, Novell helps customers manage, simplify, secure and integrate their technology environments by leveraging best-of-breed, open standards-based software. With over 20 years of experience, more than 5,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world, Novell helps customers gain control over their IT operating environment while reducing cost. More information about Novell can be found at http://www.novell.com.
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