While I doubt any of you were actually WONDERING, this article describes a reorganization at Novell that DOES, in fact, impact me directly.
I’ll quote the relevant bit:
David Patrick will become general manager of the new product business unit for Linux, Open-Source Platforms and Services. Reporting to him will be Markus Rex, vice president for SuSE; Nat Friedman, vice president for the desktop; Angie Anderson, vice president of applications and services; Ed Anderson, vice president of product marketing; and Rob Kain, director of product management.
Without going into details, at the time of the re-org, I reported to Rob Kain, and I had a team reporting to me. What matters is that the reorganization posed an opportunity for me to step down as a manager. So I did. Interestingly, my replacement is a guy who used to be ON my team, so you could say we just traded shoes. I should have dumped the rocks out of them first, but you know, there was so little time that I forgot.
Whether or not this means less stress for me remains to be seen. It does NOT change my travel plans for the next month, and after talking to my new manager, it doesn’t really change the fact that my team (now my peers, rather than my direct reports) still needs my Unique Blend Of Skills.
There’s been lots of commentary about corporate reorganization in general, and a lot of it is cynical. I’m no cynic, but I also know that this will NOT be the last major reorganization Novell undergoes. See, re-orgs, layoffs, hiring booms, mergers, and acquisitions are all to the body corporate as eating, sleeping, defecating, and procreating are to organic critters. They’re just things that happen every so often as part of the process of being “alive.” Granted, this metaphor lends itself rather too well to the distasteful alignment of “layoffs” with “defecation,” but that’s just one of the hazards of working with metaphors.
My point is that I see the Re-org as a Good Thing, and my change in responsibility as one aspect of that. It’s good for me, and it’s good for the company. It’s probably good for our customers, too, though it’ll take some time for the change to shake out that far.
I’m very pleased to still be employed. And if I DO someday get downsized, it will be with a heart full of gleeful irony that I hearken back to my body-corporate metaphor with the phrase “Crap. I got laid off.”