Viva, Faux Vegas

Stone saga reads like a bad Novell; Mercury expanding?


Sent: Monday, November 15, 2004 12:31 AM

To: eWEEK readers

Subject: Stone saga reads like a bad Novell; Mercury expanding?

"More than 45,000 pounds of water pressure per square foot," mumbled the Mouser, in a Walter Mitty moment, imagining he had wriggled out of some Comdex appointments to marvel at the mighty Hoover Dam. Alas, the swirling waters of the eWEEK mens room sink were a far cry from Black Canyon. The Las Vegas-loving Lynx was still lamenting Media Live Internationals decision to scrap Fall Comdex. Mercifully, the clarion call of the KattPhone kept the Furball from heading to a local taxi stand and pretending it was a 2-hour queue at McCarran Airport.


The caller was a crony who claimed Novell Vice Chairman Chris Stones abrupt departure from the company early this month may have been because CEO Jack Messman reneged on a promise to promote him to president. According to the crony, just before Stone was set to return from a Harvard management course, he dined with Messman, who said that he had covered the missing vice chairmans duties and now knew the company quite well, thank you, and that Novell had been doing just fine in Stones absence. Messman told Stone that he could remain vice chairman but that no presidential promotion was in the cards. Faced with a career dead end on the one hand and a $2 million golden handshake on the other, Stone skipped out the door, the crony said.

Bidding his pal adieu, Spence sobbed as he tried to pretend the sardines and snack cheese he munched at his desk were shrimp cocktail and brie at a sprawling Vegas buffet. Unable to face his dreary repast, the gossipy Gastronome headed to an afternoon vendor meeting, where several Tabby tattlers claimed management software vendor Mercury Interactive was on the acquisition trail. Mercury handles monitoring and data gathering well, said one, but thats not enough for many IT shops. Another tattler said MI should court a company that would give it strength in the diagnosis-and-fix realm but added that such an acquisition could cost more than $200 million. Spence noted the company wasnt afraid to shell out $225 million in cash and stock last year to buy Kintana, an IT governance software provider.

As the Puss left the meeting, the chilly New England air reminded him that he would normally be playing poker in the pool at Mandalay Bay this time of year. To satiate his gambling jones, the Kitty ducked into a convenience store to buy a lottery ticket. There, he got a message on his BlackBerry from a pal who had heard Computer Associates may be preparing to be (gasp!) sold. The irony of an erstwhile acquisition king on the block wasnt lost on the tattler, who noted the buyer would have to have deep pockets—perhaps as deep as EMCs or IBMs. "Or mine, if this lottery ticket turns up a winner," cackled the Kitty.

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...