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Another exec leaves Novell

Patti Dock, vice president of marketing, resigns from the Provo, Utah-based network software maker--the third executive to leave the firm since August.

Management shakeups are continuing at software maker Novell.

The company today said that Patti Dock, vice president of marketing, has resigned from the Provo, Utah-based network software maker. A Novell representative said Dock's departure is connected to an ongoing overhaul of the company's marketing and product management units.

Dock is the third executive to leave Novell since August. She could not be reached for comment.

Last month, Chris Stone, former senior vice president of corporate strategy and development, resigned to found an Internet start-up. Stone's new company plans to specialize in e-commerce application software that takes advantage of directory services, which, not coincidentally, are a key component in Novell's software product line.

In August, John F. Slitz, who was in charge of the network software maker's marketing strategy, resigned. Slitz joined Novell two years ago. He reported directly to chief executive Eric Schmidt.

Jonathan Cohen, a Novell representative, said the company "is in the process of realigning its product management and marketing arms into a single organization to be headed by Dave Shirt, who will remain vice president of product management."

He would not comment on whether any other departures are likely to follow, but said Novell expects to announce appointments of new senior executives to the company in the near future.

Stephen Dube, an analyst at Wesserstein Perella Securities in New York, said Novell is going through a natural evolution of organizational strategy. "Unfortunately there are victims in a normal shift from difficult times to more positive times."

Bob Lam, an analyst at Bear Stearns, said that since Novell doesn't sell retail, off-the-shelf products, it needs to better hone its marketing strategy. Most of Novell's sales are through resellers, such as systems integrators and consultants. "We're not talking about just selling Windows here. It takes a lot of technical expertise to market this type of complex stuff like services. I think this move to combine the two organizations into one is good for the company."