John Slitz, a well respected marketing veteran at IBM, is to join Novell as senior vice president of corporate marketing, lending his experience to the most important marketing relaunch of the company's career.
Slitz, most recently IBM's vice president of marketing for object technology and application development, jumps ship to Novell as it embarks on a significant reinvention of itself as an Intranet/Internet solutions company.
Marketing, and the experience of people like Slitz, will be essential to this attempt on a sector that regards Novell as a network operating system vendor fighting the marketing might of Microsoft NT. Although many analysts believe that Novell's products are technically superior, the company has been let down by its marketing.
Slitz boasts 25 years of IT marketing experience, 14 at IBM. When 'VNU Newswire' quizzed him about Novell three months ago, he said the company was in an "interesting position", but was not sure whether it could turn its fortunes around. However he believed that "Eric Schmidt [Novell's newly installed chief executive] is its main hope".
Of Slitz's appointment, Schmidt said: "Nearly every customer I meet praises Novell for its technology leadership but laments our shortcomings in the marketing area. John brings the perfect combinatin of technical talent and marketing expertise. He has exactly what Novell needs to deliver on our commitments to customers and shareholders."
In a statement, Slitz commented: "The opportunity to work with Eric and the Novell team he is assembling is irresistible. With Eric at the helm, Novell's vision is clear."
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