Novell's co-chairman Chris Stone - whom many assume was the heir-apparent to Novell Chairman and CEO Jack Messman - has left the company. Stone rejoined Novell in March 2002 and is credited with Novell's Linux strategy.
No successor has been named, but sources indicate that Messman will rely on some of the talent Novell picked up from its acquisitions of Ximian and SuSE. Stone's responsibilities will be taken over by Messman.
Novell is in the midst of transitioning its business from a NetWare base to one focused on Linux. It estimated that NetWare licenses accounted for 30 percent of its total revenues in 2003.
Stone has been on leave from Novell for the last few months pursuing an executive MBA at Harvard University.