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SuSE chief gets promoted within Novell

Richard Seibt, the former CEO of SuSE Linux, takes over the European operations of Novell, which acquired the German Linux seller in January.

Richard Seibt, the former chief executive of SuSE Linux, has taken over the European operations of Novell, which acquired the No. 2 seller of Linux in January.

Seibt replaces Novell's Gerard Van Kemmel as president of Novell Europe, which handles all of the Provo, Utah-based company's software product lines. Van Kemmel will stay with Novell Europe, working part time as chairman and maintaining ties with government and other large customers, Seibt said.

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In addition, Markus Rex, formerly SuSE's head of development, is taking over as general manager of Novell's SuSE division, Seibt said.

Novell announced its plan to buy Nuremberg, Germany-based SuSE in November and closed the deal in January. It has announced a hybrid software effort that mixes proprietary software from Novell with SuSE's open-source products.

Seibt's promotion indicates that Novell isn't marginalizing its new staff, Seibt said in an interview. "This decision is a very important commitment from Novell to Linux and open source," Seibt said.

Other changes are also afoot. About 15 employees from Novell's Ximian group, which focuses on desktop Linux, will move to the SuSE group, with the remainder staying in Novell's Resource Management Services Group. In addition, Novell is creating an alliance that will bring under one umbrella the connections that Novell's five software groups have with various hardware and software partners, Seibt said.