Novell’s Nugent Lands at Computer Associates

Computer Associates today named former Novell chief technology officer Alan Nugent to head its Unicenter business unit.

Effective April 8, Nugent will become senior vice president and general manager of Unicenter reporting to Russel Artzt, CA’s executive vice president of products. CA’s largest division, Unicenter is focused on infrastructure management products.

Artzt said the company’s portfolio of Unicenter solutions is a keystone for CA’s systems management capabilities and an important driver of future revenue growth. “Alan will play a key role in positioning the business unit to ensure that it continues to provide the innovative software management solutions that deliver outstanding return on investment to our customers,” Artzt said in a statement.

Brain Drain

Nugent left Novell earlier this month and was largely credited with driving the company’s moves into open-source and identity-driven solutions.

He was not the first high-profile executive to leave Novell. Former vice chairman Chris Stone parted ways with the company last fall. Some analysts have referred to the departures as Novell’s “brain drain.”

Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, told the E-Commerce Times that tech-oriented executives hoping to make a decent salary with strong benefits are increasingly attracted to more traditional software companies.

“As a company that is used to a more traditional software stream converts over to an open-source model, the services side of the unit tend to get increasing focus and the technology side less hope because [the service side] is where the revenue is tied,” Enderle said.

Solid Track Record

Nugent is likely to be a good fit for CA, Enderle said, because he’s a “big enterprise tech guy” and Unicenter, which competes with IBM’s Tivoli and HP’s OpenView, is a “big enterprise product.”

“Nugent’s new position with CA takes him back to an environment that he’s much more used to,” Enderle said. “From his standpoint the upside personally is going to be greater, and it clearly is a very high-profile position within the company.”

Nugent began his 25-year career at Hewlett-Packard and later served as senior vice president, CTO, and CIO at American Re-Insurance Company. He then became chief technologist and chief software architect for BellSouth Corporation where he was a key contributor on projects including the Internet and e-commerce, enterprise application architecture and integration, software engineering and data delivery.

Prior to joining Novell, he was executive vice president, CTO, and CIO of Vectant, Inc., responsible for all technology design, acquisition, and deployment for all of the technology company’s business units, including oversight of internal support systems and infrastructure in the U.S. and Japan. He joined Novell in 2002.

Reorganization Plan

CA president and CEO John Swainson said Nugent’s background managing and engineering strategic technology direction focused on end users’ experience will be crucial to his role in leading Unicenter during a period of wider reorganization for CA.

“We shortly will put in place a new business unit structure focused on fostering greater accountability to the business and to customer needs, as well as giving CA the ability to be more responsive to the changing dynamics of the marketplace,” Swainson said.

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