Fortified by Linux, Novell Hopes to Regain Strength: "Novell, which is based in Provo, Utah, expects the Linux operation to bring about $35 million to $40 million in revenue annually, growing at about 30 percent a year, consistent with the rest of the Linux industry.
The deal to acquire SuSE started as a development discussion between the two companies, led by Chris Stone, the vice chairman in the chief executive's office at Novell. Mr. Stone rejoined the company in early 2002 after leaving for three years to run a technology start-up, and he now serves as Mr. Messman's right-hand man.
Mr. Messman is also in his second tour at Novell. A former venture capitalist, he was an original investor in what was then called Novell Beta Systems, founded in 1981, the same year that I.B.M. released its first personal computer.
Two years later, Novell brought in Ray Noorda to run the company, while Mr. Messman stayed on the board. Within a few years, Novell was making a healthy profit selling software that connected clusters of PC's that could share files and printers. "