Novell finding its way back in competitive, fast-paced tech business

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Built2Last Provo, UT
    May 10, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    At Novell, sometimes the people that were laid off had it much better than the people who didn't. Novell would often lay off people but retain their projects and workload. So after 3 or 4 layoffs, it was common for those who remained to be stuck working on 4 or 5 projects rather than the 1 or 2 they were used to. Employees would get pretty good at juggling multiple projects, but the frustration was that you couldn't do any of them well. It was a matter of just keeping your head above water on all of them. So it resulted in poorer products going to market. This resulted in employee apathy that I think ultimately crippled the company. Senior management didn't have a clue or didn't care.

    The other practice that always made me scratch my head was laying off someone but hiring them back as a contractor at a much higher wage. Or laying them off, giving them a hefty severance package, then hiring them back a month or two later (the person kept the severance package). Brilliant!

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    May 10, 2011 8:34 a.m.

    I used to have a neighbor that worked for Novell. They asked him to train the "new guy". Some kid right out of college. My neighbor trained the new kid and once the new kid was up to speed, my neighbor got laid off.

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    May 10, 2011 8:09 a.m.

    ...Ultimately companies are a reflection of their management. If you can neither Market nor Innovate as rapidly as your competitor, you die.

    The ONLY extraordinary thing I see is that Novell took this long in its death spiral.

    Can't speak to how employees were treated...just looking at the corporate "scoreboard"...but I will say employees are usually pretty happy when you grow...not so much if you are shrinking.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    May 10, 2011 6:37 a.m.

    Tough choices and consequences. Here's to hoping that those who are laid off find better jobs. I understand that the NSA is opening a huge Cybersecurity complex somewhere in the region. Perhaps a few of these that are laid off will find ways to innovate and start new companies and business ideas that will be even more successful now that they're not tethered to Novell's corporate sluggishness.

    I know things look kinda bleak now, but have faith. Ideas and inspiration will come. Stay strong--lay offs are no fun, but they're not the end of the world (unless you make them so... which is silly over the longterm). When I went into engineering, I thought I'd have a stable job, but the technology sector just hasn't held up as it once did. I've been laid off more than five times now... The first one's the worst--so to you first-comers, my heart goes out to you.

    Trust that there's a whole world of opportunities that await you. It will take some patient humiliation... though... and that's never overly fun.

  • DrW Saint Paul, MN
    May 10, 2011 6:12 a.m.

    Hope they bring back WORD PERFECT for MACs. Microsoft WORD is so HORRIBLE that it has almost persuaded us to get at least one PC.

  • Built2Last Provo, UT
    May 9, 2011 8:10 p.m.

    @gmak - "they were very fair about how they determined who got cut, and it was based on performance."

    I couldn't agree less with that statement. When whole groups are RIFed, it is not performance based. And when executive management uses layoffs as a lazy way to show profitability, it is not performance based. I was with Novell for 17 years. I would have to say that 75% of layoffs were done for reasons other than perfomance.

    I wish Novell the best, but I'm afraid this acquisition is just more of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, just as they have been since about the time Novell acquired WordPerfect.

  • skylinestar saltlake city, utah
    May 9, 2011 7:32 p.m.

    Back in the early year of 1978 the internet was just the start..
    Memorex and Atari was so Wonderful to work for.When Jos were so easy to find
    In SanJose.

    Now this day and age is so very streesful even to find a Great Job!
    Hope you all find a Job soon All those that are unemployed.

  • gmak Spanish Fork, UT
    May 9, 2011 6:00 p.m.

    I worked for Novell for about 12 years, leaving in 1997. I lived through what I call 'the glory days' of Novell. It was a wonderful company to work for. Seemed to me that when we lost Ray Noorda, the company just went downhill from there. He was the inspiration of that company, a great man and wonderful motivator. He really cared about the employees. I went through many layoffs too, but never had a problem getting through it - they were very fair about how they determined who got cut, and it was based on performance.
    I was very sad to see it deteriorate over the years.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 9, 2011 4:54 p.m.

    Expect more layoffs in the coming year. Having worked for Novell for over 17 years and over 30 layoffs I can almost guarantee the layoffs will continue into the future. Novell manages itself in a "could care less" manner meaning it could care less about its employees. Higher powers in far off oak offices are always plotting and planning and gambling knowing that they will always float away on a golden parachute so viewing employees as mere pawns in a chess game comes natural. Yes hire today and fire tomarrow. I remember Novell announcing big holiday bonus's after having just given the ax to hundreds of poor souls the day before. Pretty cold blooded but that is the Novell way after all!

  • juni4ling Somewhere in Colorado, CO
    May 9, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    Sorry to hear about the layoffs...

    Novell was the center of the networking Universe in the late 1990's...

    Good luck to the families that this affects...