Novell-Netscape joint venture Novonyx started life as a separate company this week, but Novell clearly runs the show. The five top managers of the unit have transferred from the networking company, including chief executive Robert Hicks, and the spin-off remains headquartered close to Novell in Utah.
Novonyx will sell Netscape Suitespot servers running on Novell's Intranetware platform. Analysts said it is Novell that has driven and financed the initiative, as part of its bid to spin off non-core businesses.
Many observers also expect Novonyx to take over Novell's Groupwise messaging technology, which competes directly with Suitespot but is more mature and has a larger market share - about 20 per cent. Groupwise was retained as one of Novell's three core product lines during its recent reorganisation, but is generally seen as the weakest of them. Further financial troubles at Novell might well push new CEO Eric Schmidt to spin off that product too.
The other top executives at Novonyx are Thomas Creighton, vice president of engineering, William Donahoo, VP of marketing, Ty Mattingly, VP of sales and Steven Bentley, chief financial officer. All were previously senior managers at Novell.
The first Novonyx products, Enterprise Server 3.0 and Fast Track Server, will ship in the autumn.
Novonyx has the facility to hire a "limited number" of further Novell employees, and a "significant" but unspecified chunk of its shares will be owned by staff.
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