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The NWC Interview: Novell's Ron Hovsepian

Ron Hovsepian
CEO, Novell

You took over as Novell's chief executive in June, after Jack Messman was forced out amid lower-than-expected sales and earnings. What's your No. 1 priority?

To keep the company focused on what the customer is trying to get done, and then make sure our products and services are in complete alignment with that. We also have to make sure we're getting the right financial returns for our shareholders.

Neither Eric Schmidt, who was Novell's CEO for a time, nor Messman, were able to put the company on a sustained growth path. What will you bring that they didn't have?

We've really spent a lot of time looking at what customers are trying to do inside their environments around open source. So if you look at our SUSE Linux product as an example, that's been designed for enterprise-class computing, from the desktop to the data center. That's very different, and it's being driven by our customers.

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