The Wizard Moved Out - Page 2


Another Emerald City? Novell vows that Volera will be different. For starters, Volera says the Internet caching market will be a $10.4 billion opportunity by 2004. Nearly a dozen server companies—from Compaq Computer to Toshiba—sell caching appliances that use Voleras technology. And since the caching code isnt married to NetWare, Volera can succeed even if Novells server operating-system sales continue to slide.

Voleras alliance strategy is rather simple: The company plans to drive its caching solutions through server manufacturers, Web hosting companies and network equipment makers. Early customers include AT&T, Datek Online, Dell Computer and Southwest Airlines.

Pull Back the Curtain Of course, it doesnt hurt to have Major working behind the scenes. Current and former Novell employees praise his ability to turn complex technical ideas into business solutions.

"Drew is the only guy who could have each hand on two different keyboards, type intelligently, and carry on a conversation all at the same time," quips former Novell executive VP Richard King, now president of Big Planet, a service provider. "Hes great at understanding and developing very complicated technical solutions."

Adds Chris Stone, a former senior VP at Novell, who now runs Tilion Inc., "Drew is a gem. He spewed out technology ideas faster than a Clinton pardon."

If Major has mixed feelings about leaving Novell, he isnt saying so. Major points out that he will continue to serve Novell in a consulting role, and many Novell veterans are among his closest friends. Allies include former chairman and CEO Ray Noorda, who lives a few blocks away from Major.

Noorda gets much of the credit for building Novell, but it was Major and two other software developers—Dale Neibaur and Kyle Powell—who pieced together NetWare nearly 20 years ago. The trio became known as "The SuperSet."

"With Ray on strategy and Drew on technology, the early days of networking had a dynamic duo at the helm," says William Donahoo, a Novell marketing veteran who has known Major since 1991.

Noorda and many of his former lieutenants left Novell during the mid-1990s. Noordas immediate replacement, Hewlett-Packard veteran Robert Frankenberg, sold off many of the struggling businesses that Novell had acquired under Noorda. By the time current chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt arrived in April 1997, Novell was late to the Internet and losing momentum in the classic channel.