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Ex-Novell CEO becomes chairman of Google

Schmidt now chairs three firms, runs One Net

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Departing Novell chief executive Eric Schmidt has become chairman of search engine firm Google.

Schmidt, who is handing over the leadership of Novell to Cambridge Tech President and chief executive Jack Messman, will retain his position of chairman of the Internet software and service firm, and its subsidiary Volera. He will continue to serve as chief strategist at Novell.

The change of leadership at Novell comes after it acquired Cambridge Technology Partners in a $266 million deal designed to beef up its services business, a key strategy for Novell which has been hit by the decline of its core NetWare business.

As well as facing the difficult job of repositioning Novell as an internet services firm, Schmidt also faces challenges due to the decline of online advertising revenue and negative sentiment about Internet stocks in his role at Google.

Google said that Schmidt has made a significant, but undisclosed, financial investment in the company, but suggested it was Schmidt's brains and not his money that they were really after.

Welcoming Schmidt to the company, Larry Page, Google's co-founder and chief executive praised him as a "brilliant technologist and savvy business leader."

Sergey Brin, a 27 year-old who is being replaced as chairman by 45 year-old Schmidt, said he had a "proven record in understanding and developing the promise of great technologies".

As well as his three chairmanships, Schmidt also serves on the boards of CRM firm Siebel Systems, Integrated Archive Systems, and Tilion.

Prior to his 1997 appointment at Novell, Schmidt was chief technology officer and corporate executive officer at Sun Microsystems. He was also a member of the research staff at the Computer Science Lab at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and held positions at Bell Laboratories and Zilog. ®

Related stories

Novell CEO steps down as it acquires consulting firm
Novell reinvents itself for the Internet
Open access challenge to Google
Google in lead as search wars hot up

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Goggle welcomes Schmidt

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