Novell president Marengi quits

Novell Inc. President Joe Marengi confirmed Friday that he is leaving the networking company, attributing his departure to a "mutual agreement" with Novell CEO Eric Schmidt.

Marengi, who said his resignation is effective at the end of the month, denied reports that he was let go as part of Novell's current layoffs, which will reduce the company's work force by 18 percent.

After a meeting with Schmidt, "we came to a mutual agreement that it's time for me to do something different," Marengi said.

Marengi, who took over as president last September, would not say what he plans to do next. Sources said he received a lucrative compensation package for his departure.

Sources said Marengi was called on the carpet by Schmidt, who took over as CEO in April, after Novell reported worse-than-expected second-quarter results, including a dip in earnings for the company's flagship IntranetWare product.

Following the results, Schmidt announced the layoffs and a corporate restructuring and halted product shipments into the reseller channel until inventories are reduced, a move that will likely hurt Novell's third-quarter revenues as well.

Marengi, who joined Novell in 1989, said he didn't want to be part of another turnaround effort at the Orem, Utah, company. "I've seen it on the way up and I've seen it on the way down," he said. "I went through the turnaround with Bob [Frankenberg] and I just don't want to do it again. Eric needs new blood to make it happen."

"There's a new CEO on board, and he's going to do everything he can to clean up the company and take it down to where it is lean and healthy and then bring it back," Marengi said. "Eric has the reins and he's comfortable in the job now and he's cranking forward. It's time for me to move on."