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Novell Ousts Messman, Names Hovsepian New CEO

In a management shake-up, Novell on Thursday said its board has elected Ron Hovsepian as CEO, replacing Jack Messman.

Hovsepian, who became Novell's president and COO last November, takes over the chief executive post effective immediately. The Waltham, Mass.-based software maker said Messman, who also held the chairman's title, left the company as of June 21 and will remain on the board until Oct. 31.

In addition, Thomas Plaskett was elected non-executive chairman of the board. He has been a director since November 2002.

Novell also said CFO Joseph Tibbets left the company effective June 21, and Dana Russell, vice president of finance and corporate controller, will serve as interim CFO.

"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," Plaskett said in a statement. "Ron [Hovsepian] 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."

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