News briefs – Exec exodus continues at Novell

The revolving door continues to spin within Novell's marketing organization, long considered the company's Achilles' heel. Novell announced last week that Steve Adams, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for just more than a year, left the company to take a position as president and CEO of an unnamed Silicon Valley software firm. Adams helped create Novell's oneNet marketing vision and its Net Services strategy, which calls for selling tools that securely manage a single network consisting of a company's intranet, extranet and the Internet. A transition plan regarding the new reporting structure for the marketing organization will be completed this week. The company also announced that Sheri Anderson, senior vice president and general manager of Novell Customer Services, is also resigning. Michael Lyons, vice president of technical support and a Novell veteran, will assume Anderson's responsibilities.

Spam crime doesn't pay for pair

Steve Shklovskiy and Yan Shtok, both 23, have been sentenced to two years in prison and must pay more than $100,000 in restitution for their role in a September 1999 spam spree that included 50 million e-mails that overwhelmed many large ISPs. Authorities said the pair used PCs with commercially available software to "harvest" e-mail addresses, then sent a mass e-mailing, asking recipients for a $35 "processing fee" in exchange for a chance to work at home stuffing envelopes. More than 12,000 people were duped. AOL, AT&T and MindSpring were among those swamped by customer complaints.

Microsoft faces discrimination suit

Seven African Americans have filed a $5 billion racial discrimination lawsuit against Microsoft, alleging that the company passed them over for promotions, discriminated against them in hiring and firing practices, and forced them to endure "plantation-type mentality" at the company. Six of the plaintiffs added their complaints last week to a case that was filed in June by Rahn Jackson, a former account executive in Microsoft's Washington, D.C., office, who accused the company of passing him over repeatedly for promotions in favor of white men or women despite his more than eight years with the company and 17 years of sales experience. Ironically, Jackson's case was randomly assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, the same judge who in June ruled against the company in the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust case. A statement issued by the company said Microsoft has a zero tolerance policy toward discrimination in the workplace.

Sprint and Palm joining hands

Sprint PCS and Palm last week cut a deal to create and market an array of software and hardware products aimed at users of Palm OS-based devices who want wide-area access to data via Sprint's nationwide Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) network. The two firms will offer a jointly branded MyPalm portal, which will let Palm users with a wireless connection access e-mail, corporate data and an array of portal-based personal information applications (see related story on page 29). The firms will also support various connection options for users of Palm devices, including the forthcoming Palm OS-based smart phones from Koyocera, Samsung and other vendors. Initially, Sprint customers with Palm devices will be able to buy a version of Palm's Mobile Internet Kit, which is a cable and software that lets a Palm device use a Sprint PCS phone as a wireless modem. It will be available in early 2001. A CDMA wireless modem for Palm handhelds will be ready in mid-20001.

Buying broadband

Extreme Networks last week said it will acquire Optranet, a start-up broadband equipment maker, for approximately two million shares of Extreme stock. The deal should be completed by the end of the month. Extreme would not comment on its strategy or plans for the acquisition, other than saying the deal will help the firm expand in the broadband equipment market for service providers.

Optranet has no announced products, but says it is developing gear that will let service providers offer IP-based differentiated broadband services to the multitenant unit market.

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon