Novell Inc. Senior Vice President Christopher Stone, the number two executive who gets nearly as much credit as CEO Eric Schmidt for turning the company around, is resigning on October 15.
Officials said the parting was amiable.
Stone will head up a Concord, Mass., startup called Network Decisions that focuses on directory-enabled Web applications, according to Novell officials in Provo, Utah.
Thus it's likely that Stone will still maintain a close relationship with his old company, which is banking heavily on Novell Directory Services. Indeed, the press release announcing his departure hails the move positively because it puts an NDS believer in the business-to-business application community.
'I need my life back'
Still, it marks Novell's third executive departure in four months. Chief Technology Officer Glen Ricart left in June, while Senior Vice President of Marketing John Slitz left in August. As one Novell employee who requested anonymity put it, "We've got to get our executive house in order. That's three key positions gone that haven't been filled."
Some observers wondered if, by leaving to start a directory application company, Stone doesn't have faith in Novell's ability to execute on directory applications. He would not commit to such a statement.
"I need my life back, and I am itchy to run another startup," Stone told PC Week Online. "I want to drive and build a piece of B2B Internet commerce that's missing right now. I have no reservations about leaving, but I will always try to help Novell in any way that I can. I believed in the directory strategy, having set it. The network needs it."
Novell is at www.novell.com.