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Novell's Open-Source Strategist Leaves

The executive that led Novell Inc.'s open-source strategy has left the company, saying it was with "some regret" that he decided to pursue other options.

Vice Chairman Chris Stone, who had been with the company since March 2002, had led Novell's strategic direction, particularly its open-source and identity-management initiatives, the company said in a statement.

No successor was named, and Jack Messman, chairman and chief executive of the Waltham, Mass., company, was expected to handle Stone's duties.

"It is with some regret that I have decided to leave Novell and pursue other professional opportunities," Stone said in a joint statement with Messman. "I am proud of my work and accomplishments at Novell, but now is the time in my career to do something else and I look forward to new challenges."

Messman said that Stone made "significant contributions to changes in our strategic directions, and his vision and energy will be missed."

Novell spokesman Hal Thayer said Friday the company had no other comment other than the release. Stone's departure, however, would have no impact on the company's open-source strategy, Thayer said.

"It's full-speed ahead," he said. "We're on course and the company is continuing to build its position in the Linux market."

Over the last couple of years, Novell has moved aggressively into the open-source markt. The company's biggest move occurred in 2003, when it acquired SuSE Linux AG for $210 million in cash, making Novell a major distributor of the open-source operating system.