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CORBA crusader hired on at Novell

Chris Stone, chief promoter of the Common Object Request Broker Architecture, is leaving to join Novell's turnaround team.

The man responsible for making CORBA a household acronym at Internet software companies is embarking on a new crusade.

Chris Stone, founder and CEO of the Object Management Group (OMG), the organization responsible for promoting the Common Object Request Broker Architecture, is leaving to join the management team at Novell, Stone said today.

On September 2, Stone will report to work at Novell's suburban Boston facility as senior vice president of strategy and corporate development. He'll join a growing turnaround team that includes CEO Eric Schmidt and former IBM vice president John Slitz, who joined Novell last week.

Stone's post at the OMG will be filled by two executives, Richard Soley, vice president and technical director, and William Hoffman, vice president of business development, Stone said. Stone will remain chairman of the OMG, but is expected to have little say in day-to-day operations.

CORBA has become the keystone of Java-centric software strategies at industry heavyweights, such as Netscape Communications, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and IBM. Common Object Request Broker Architecture defines an architecture for working with component-based software that runs across multiple dissimilar computers.

Stone sees the recent widespread adoption of CORBA as a validation of a strategy he set in place eight years ago. "The whole concept of distributed objects and services is at a mature state, and now I want to go implement it," he said.

Due to CORBA's popularity, the OMG's role and membership base has gone through some significant changes, said Stone. "The OMG is now very market-focused. The largest growth in new membership is coming from industries, such as telecommunications, manufacturing, and financial services, which are building industry specifications on top of CORBA," he said.