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Interview: New Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian & Channel Chief Steve Erdman

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?

Hovsepian: In terms of policy or direction for the company, I am going to really focus in on three things: one is simplification of our business—make sure that we drive a certain level of operational excellence and simplification of what we are trying to get done. That will translate into a better focus. The focus has to be on our markets and our customer segments and how we go to market, leveraging our partners, and what we need to get done with our key partners inside the marketplace. Those are things that are very critical to me as we go into the 2007 planning cycle. [Second is to] continue to really push our agenda towards our partners because they are the key to our success in the long run. The third area is just deliver on our commitments.

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