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Novell CTO Alan Nugent departs

Nugent is the second high-level executive to leave Linux and server software seller in recent months.

Alan Nugent has left his position as Novell's chief technology officer, CNET News.com has learned.

Jack Messman, chief executive of the Linux and server software seller, told employees of the move on Wednesday, saying Nugent has left for a position at another company expected to be announced in coming weeks. Novell spokesman Bruce Lowry confirmed the departure.

Alan Nugent
Alan Nugent

The move comes shortly before Novell's annual Brainshare conference, which begins Sunday in Salt Lake City.

Nugent joined Novell in 2002, after working at telecommunications company Vectant, American Re-Insurance and Xerox's global process and information management organization. He lived in New Jersey but spent much of his time at the company's headquarters in Waltham, Mass.

He's the second high-level executive to leave the company in recent months. Vice Chairman Chris Stone was ousted in November over what Messman described as differences of opinion over company strategy.

No successor has been named, Lowry said. Novell didn't say whether Nugent will be replaced, "but my expectation would be that we would," he said. "We've always had a CTO."

That successor will inherit several technical tasks. A major one is supporting Open Enterprise Server, a product that combines Novell's formerly dominant NetWare operating system with its newer and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server. Novell began shipping its first version of OES last week.

Novell's version of Linux is second in market share to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In Novell's most recent quarter, revenue from both NetWare and SLES were less than the company hoped.

Those who reported to Nugent now will report to David Patrick and David Litwack, whose roles were elevated in an August 2004 reorganization.