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Borland Software has appointed Tod Nielson, the man who helped turn Microsoft's Developer Network (MSDN) into a success, as its president and chief executive.

Nielson replaces interim CEO Scott Arnold who took-over following Dale Fuller's resignation after Borland announced preliminary financial results that missed Wall St's expectations.

Borland, hosting its annual BorCon users' conference in San Francisco, California, said in a statement it is pleased by Nielsen's deep experience in its target markets and his proven leadership, and confident it could continue to push ahead with the Software Delivery Optimization (SDO) strategy.

Nielson certainly has his work cut out for him. Revenue from Borland's JBuilder Integrated Development Environment (IDE) has been hit by the rise of open source, Eclipse-based tools. Borland is seeking to spread its revenue streams by selling suites of combined application lifecycle management (ALM) capabilities under SDO.

Revenue from licensing fell 29 per cent to $38.1m during the quarter Fuller stepped down and 26 per cent during the subsequent third quarter to $39.2m. Borland recorded losses of $17.9m, down from a profit of $2.8m, and $4.8m, down from $160,000 for the second and third quarters respectively.

Nielson joins Borland from Oracle where he'd served as vice president for marketing and global partner sales support. He oversaw marketing support for Oracle's server software, including the Oracle database and Fusion Middleware.

Prior to Oracle, Nielson was BEA Systems' executive vice president and chief marketing officer, having joined directly from web services start-up Crossgain where he was CEO.

Nielson left BEA in August 2004 amid management fallout over strategy, and following an ill-advised company commitment to recruit one million developers in the 12 months following the launch of its first WebLogic Workshop development environment.

Nielson is best known as Microsoft's long-serving developer tools evangelist. During his 11 years with Microsoft, Nielson shook-up MSDN - laying the foundation for the rich and diverse content and services that are found on MSDN today - and helped establish the massive ISV community that today surrounds Windows.®

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