Caldera CEO steps aside to focus on UnitedLinux

Caldera CEO steps aside to focus on UnitedLinux

After co-founding what is now Caldera International in 1994 and helping the company grow into an international Unix and Linux vendor, CEO and president Ransom Love is moving over to head the company's recently announced involvement with UnitedLinux.

In an announcement on Thursday, the company said Love will be replaced by Darl McBride, who most recently was president of the online planning business at FranklinCovey, a Salt Lake City-based personal and organisational effectiveness vendor.

Love will now guide Caldera's role in the UnitedLinux effort announced last month. Under that deal, Caldera is joining three other Linux vendors -- SuSE Linux, Conectiva and Turbolinux -- to pool resources in creating and selling a standardised enterprise version of Linux aimed at drastically increasing its adoption in business computing. Joining the effort to offer a uniform Linux distribution by year's end are more than a dozen hardware and software vendors, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, AMD and Intel. The dominant player in the US Linux marketplace, Red Hat, isn't yet involved in the new initiative.

Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst at IDC, said the appointment of Love to lead the company's UnitedLinux effort fills an important need there. The problem, though, is that "if you look at Caldera's place in the market and its revenues, one could ask if he's the right person to lead this effort", Kusnetzky said. The company's total revenue has declined from $US170 million in 1999 to $70 million in 2001, Kusnetzky said. "If he's leading a ship that's had nothing but declines, it makes you wonder."

He said the job shift for Love could be a case of "moving him away from the controls at Caldera to let someone else take over".

Love couldn't be reached for comment. He has been responsible for the company's strategic direction and planning, overseeing engineering, support, marketing and sales. After being founded as Caldera in 1994, the company renamed itself Caldera Systems in 1998 as it began to develop Linux-based business software. Last year, Caldera Systems acquired the assets of the server software division and professional services division of The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) and was renamed Caldera International.

Love became president and CEO of Caldera in 1998 and led the company through its initial public offering and acquisition of SCO's server division. He has a bachelor's degree in international relations and an MBA from Brigham Young University.

McBride was formerly CEO of PointServe, a workforce optimisation software company, and was the founder, chairman and CEO of SBI, a professional services company. He also previously worked as a senior vice president at IKON Office Solutions.

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