Novells Engineering Boss Departs Linux-Networking Company

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-11-04 Print this article Print

Novell's Vice Chairman Chris Stone, responsible for engineering, product management and alliances, leaves the company to "pursue other interests."

Evidence of Novell Inc.s corporate culture clash surfaced on Thursday, as the company said Chris Stone, Novells vice chairman, would leave the company. Stone, who has been away from his post attending an executive management program at Harvard University since September, said he left the Waltham, Mass. company to "pursue other interests." "It is with some regret that I have decided to leave Novell and pursue other professional opportunities. 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," Stone said in a statement released by Novell. No successor has been named at yet for Stone, who was responsible for engineering, product management and alliances. His responsibilities will be overseen by Novell chairman and CEO Jack Messman on an interim basis.
Stone, who has been with Novell since March 2002, is credited with leading its strong drive into open-source software and identity management.
Read more here about Novells push into identity management solutions. "We thank Chris for his service to Novell over the past two and one half years. He made significant contributions to changes in our strategic direction, and his vision and energy will be missed. We wish him well," Messman said in the statement. While the public statements were cordial, sources close to the company told eWEEK that the breakup stemmed from management difficulties integrating the Linux teams Novell acquired earlier in the year. Sources said Stone was made to attend the management program at Harvard over executive displeasure at the way he [Stone] was managing some key personalities that moved across from Ximian and SUSE Linux, most notably Nat Friedman, now vice president of Novells Linux Technologies Group; Miguel de Icaza, now Novells chief technology officer; and Chris Schlaeger, now the vice president of Research and Development for SUSE Linux. A Novell spokesman declined to comment on whether Stones management style was behind his sojourn to Harvard or his decision to leave the company. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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