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Executive Q&A: SCO's Darl McBride

Darl McBride is sitting at a conference table, flipping through a 12-page magazine advertisement put together by Linux upstart Net Integration Technologies. Written and designed to look like a child's reading primer, the ad is making him laugh at the clever poke at Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. It gets the president and CEO started on his complex legal battles over intellectual property with IBM.

"I actually had this idea to tell the IBM legal story through a children's book, you know, reduce the thousands and thousands of legal pages down to a fable in a children's book," he says, waving the insert from Net Integration Technologies. "Then it would have real meaning."

Since launching the lawsuit against IBM a year-and-a-half ago, McBride says he feels as though he has lived through some child's tale of adventure and imagination. The high point for him in this fabled tale? Coming back from what he says would have been sure death in just a few quarters.

"We got taken for a ride by a partner (IBM) out into the desert, pushed out of the car, shot four times and left for dead," McBride says. "The good news is that we climbed back into townmake that crawled back into town, went to the hospital, got fixed up, recuperated, and we're alive. That's the good news. And we're back now getting justice in the situation."

Put another way, McBride describes his current situation as the halftime of a football game, one that bruised up his side pretty badly despite the hits that it delivered. It is important to note that he is one of only a few people at SCO focused on legal wars; the overwhelming majority are focused on getting the company's core Unix business back on track. But the company is struggling. Sales for the most recent quarter were off by more than half. Its stock, too, is off more than 75 percent from its 52-week high.

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