IBM veteran John Slitz is to join Novell as senior vice president of corporate marketing, as the company makes the transition to becoming an intranet/internet systems developer.
Slitz was most recently IBM?s vice president of marketing for object technology and application development. He boasts 25 years of IT marketing experience, 14 at IBM.
His experience will be essential to Novell?s bid for a sector that regards the firm as a network operating system vendor and for fighting off Microsoft NT. Although analysts believe Novell?s products are technically superior, the firm has been let down by its marketing.
When Slitz was asked about Novell three months ago, he said the company was in an ?interesting position?, and he believed that Eric Schmidt [Novell CEO] was the vendor?s main hope of turning its fortunes around.
Commenting on Slitz? 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 combination of technical talent and marketing expertise. He has exactly what we need to deliver on our commitments to customers and shareholders.?
Slitz said: ?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.?
Novell finally filled the role of chairman after poaching Schmidt from Sun, where he was chief technology officer and a software pioneer (PC Dealer, 21 March).
Schmidt replaced Bob Frankenberg, former Novell president and CEO, who resigned suddenly in August 1996. He started in the role of chairman on 7 April.
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