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Novell to lay off about 60

Executives say the move comes as the company begins its fiscal year 2000 and realigns its strategy to better address the explosion in "e-business."

Network software provider Novell plans to lay off 1 percent of its workforce as part of an overall realignment.

The pink slips, numbering about 60 employees, are largely targeted at employees at the company's Provo, Utah-based headquarters, though a sprinkling will come from other parts of the globe, according to a company spokeswoman.

Executives said the move comes as the company begins its fiscal year 2000 and realigns its strategy to better address the explosion in "e-business" and deploys its workforce to provide "greater efficiencies."

About 55 percent of the layoffs will come out of Novell's marketing organization, while 45 percent are derived from a consolidation within the company's sales force and customer response center. The company employs approximately 5,300 people. With the layoffs, Novell's total workforce is still up almost 14 percent year-over-year, according to the company.

"What we're doing today is part of a larger picture we've been working on for 60 to 90 days," said Margaret Epperheimer, vice president of corporate marketing at Novell.

The layoffs come amid executive shuffling at the firm, thought to be in recovery after a long downturn in its software fortunes. The company's two top marketing executives and its chief strategist have left in recent months.

Novell hired the former chief executive at Hybrid Networks and industry veteran Carl Ledbetter earlier this week to fill the chief strategist post recently vacated by Chris Stone. The company's marketing organization is now under the guidance of David Shirk, an executive who joined Novell in the early days of chief executive Eric Schmidt's tenure.