Novell Re-org and Howard

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.”

–Howard

14 thoughts on “Novell Re-org and Howard”

  1. So far they’ve not confiscated anything, but only because I had so little to start with. I was careful not to encumber myself with any of the trappings-of-rank, mostly so that the Microsoft snipers would not know which of us to shoot first.

    1. An office with a door seems like a “trapping-of-rank” to me. I hope you’ve still got it because otherwise all that stuff you’ve been storing in your office is going to come back here where it’s my job to figure out where to put it.

    1. Re: Metaphor

      But you’ve also heard the expression “I’m pooped.” This is what happens when you’ve been eaten up by a project, and then passed back out into the biosphere.

  2. Downgrade

    I took a downgrade to move from Marquette, MI to Duluth, MN. The main reason was to get closer to my aging parents. But there were other job related issues going on at Marquette as well.

    One of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made. In fact, it was brilliant. In three years, I was back to my previous level, my social life improved by leaps, and strangely I made out great money-wise. As much as I complain about Duluth at times, it could be so much worse.

    What I hope happens in your case is that you have more free time for your family to improve your social life… and also spend more time on Schlock. Maybe Schlock can help you make up for any financial compenstation that you may lost in this deal.

    1. Re: Downgrade

      There was no pay cut in this deal. Mostly because there wasn’t a pay INCREASE associated with becoming a manager. I already make obscene* amounts of money.

      –Howard

      (*Note: for sufficiently low values of “obscene”)

      1. Open House

        BTW, did you get the invite for the open house. I sent it to your tayler.com address. Don’t know if that is valid. Please disseminate if you got it, thanks.

  3. In the 20 months that I was at Global Crossing, I saw no fewer then two re-orgs, and at least three CEOS.

    Fortunatly for me, I managed to make out pretty good both money wise and skills wise.

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