Rumours that Novell is believed to be finalising plans for European staff cutbacks began to gain momentum in the channel last week.
Although the vendor would neither confirm nor deny the cuts, sources close to the firm told CRN that Novell was “reducing space in its Bracknell office” and conducting “European office reductions following its recent acquisitions”.
The cuts are believed to be centred on Novell’s non-SuSE divisions in Europe. Last month the vendor announced that its president Richard Seibt, formally president of SuSE Linux, had resigned.
Novell recently reported a $16m loss for its second-quarter results. Although executives initially blamed restructuring costs, chief financial officer Joe Tibbetts admitted that revenue from the NetWare product line had declined “faster than expected”.
John Adams, managing director of Novell reseller Mintra, said: “This makes perfect sense. Novell is probably focusing on its open-source architecture following the SuSE acquisition. It may keep the SuSE staff because they are already familiar with open source.”
Novell, with a little help from IBM, acquired SuSE Linux for $210m in November 2003, and Adams added that the job cuts could be an attempt to secure more sales.
Mike Lawerence, managing director of Novell VAR Bentpenny, said the cuts could represent Novell’s attempt to gear up for a change from NetWare to SuSE.
“There have been a lot of rumours. This is likely to be a repositioning of the company but it won’t affect the channel,” he said.
Novell was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.
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