Novell CEO to step aside as part of acquisition

InfoWorld |  Business

NOVELL CHAIRMAN AND CEO Eric Schmidt said Monday he will leave the position of CEO and take on other duties at the company as part of Novell's acquisition of consulting company Cambridge Technology Partners.

Novell late Monday announced plans to acquire Cambridge Technology in a deal worth approximately $266 million.

As part of the acquisition, Cambridge President and CEO Jack Messman will eventually assume the CEO post at Novell.

Schmidt will continue in his role as chairman of the Novell board of directors, with the added role of chief strategist for the company. Schmidt said he will also continue as CEO of Novell's content networking spinoff Volera.

The acquisition of Cambridge Technology will expand Novell's ability to offer its customers consulting support for the transformation of business processes around Novell's One Net solutions, Schmidt said.

"This advances Novell's transition to becoming a network services company. We needed the right skill set for providing consulting services around our One Net vision," Schmidt said. "By combining our technology base with [Cambridge Technology] services capacity, we can leapfrog into solutions selling."

Schmidt added that Novell has been more focused on installing software rather than installing solutions, and Cambridge will propel the company into a leadership position in network services.

The acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is expected to be completed in the third quarter. Schmidt said the management and personnel changes would take a while to take effect.

Cambridge will become a subsidiary within Novell and will maintain an objective and independent point of view, according to Cambridge Technology's Messman.

Schmidt said Novell for the past few years had planned to grow its consulting services offering internally, but decided last fall to achieve its services goals needed to purchase a pretty substantial consulting company.

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