Stacey Quandt, an analyst at the Robert Frances Group, agreed, saying Seibt was an IBM veteran and was brought in when IBM, Intel Corp. and others were funding SuSE as a private company. In fact, the acquisition of SuSE by Novell "brought SuSE much-needed cash to expand its business and credibility to Novell in the open-source marketplace," she said. "Subsequent to Novell buying SuSE, Seibt went on to head Novell EMEA. His departure is unlikely to have a material effect on Novell/SuSE," Quandt said. But some in the open-source and Linux community are concerned about the loss of three key Linux executives in a relatively short time frame. Stone, who was an executive at Novell since March 2002, is regarded as the primary force behind the companys push into Linux and open-source software, as well as its acquisitions of Ximian Inc. and SuSE Linux."I think his loss is going to impact Novell tremendously. This is a community, and trust is gained, not just given. ... Jack [Messman] is not someone we really know," he said. Click here for more on how Stones exit has affected Novell. Stones departure was followed in Marchjust days before the kickoff of Novells annual BrainShare user conferenceby the news that another key Linux sponsor, CTO Alan Nugent, was leaving the company. Nugent then joined Computer Associates International Inc., where he is leading the companys Unicenter business. eWEEK was the first to report in October 2002 that Novell was looking to embrace Linux across its product and service lines, based on an interview with Nugent, who was a pivotal player in the companys Linux and open-source strategy. One source said Seibt is likely to take some time off before accepting another position, and that he might move away from a hands-on, day-to-day "operational"-type position toward a position such as a company chairman. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analy-sis.
Some say Stones departure weakened Novells open-source commitment. "I was very disappointed to see Chris leave. It seems that [Novell chairman and CEO Jack] Messman will now take over Chris role as the person who is not only the public face of Novell, but to the open-source community," said a senior software executive involved in the open-source community, who requested anonymity.