In a financial nosedive, Novell appoints new CEO

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In an effort to spur growth and earnings, open-source software provider Novell has replaced its CEO and CFO.

The Waltham, Mass.-based company's Board of Directors today named Ronald W. Hovsepian, 45, the new CEO. Hovsepian, president and chief operating officer since October 2005, replaces Jack L. Messman, 66.

The company also appointed Dana Russell, 44, corporate controller and vice president of finance, as the interim CFO. She replaces Joseph S. Tibbetts Jr., 53.

Both Messman and Tibbetts finished their employment Wednesday.

"The board concluded that a management change would be the best way to accelerate the execution of our growth strategy and build value for shareholders," new board Chairman Thomas G. Plaskett said today in a statement. "Ron is the ideal choice to lead the company as we continue with our transition to Linux-based products and identity and resource management, and leverage our unique support of mixed-source environments."

Novell announced earlier this month that it was entering the identity management space by sponsoring an open-source initiative that company officials say will take the confusion out of running distinct point solutions.

Bandit, the free framework, seeks to standardize the identity management process, in addition to offering security, access and compliance features, according to a Novell statement

Novell had been mired in a financial slump. Novell's shares had fallen nearly 25 percent since it reported worse-than-expected earnings at the end of May. However, following today’s announcement, Novell shares rose nearly 10 percent.

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