Novell's Susan Heystee to Oversee Microsoft Pact in Strategic Partner Role

Novell has appointed Susan Heystee, recently named vice president and general manager for Global Strategic Partners, to manage the relationship with Microsoft under the recently announced Novell-Microsoft agreement to promote Linux and Windows interoperability.

Heystee will oversee both the business and technical cooperation components of the agreement, ensuring that Novell customers gain the maximum benefit from interoperability work around Linux.

The appointment of a senior business leader to the position reflects the significance Novell places on promoting the adoption and ease of integration of Linux into customers' mixed environments.

"The Novell-Microsoft agreement promises significant benefits for users of both Linux and Windows," said Tom Francese, executive vice president for worldwide sales at Novell.

"We needed someone with a strong business background and deep customer knowledge to manage this relationship for us. Having run Novell Americas until her recent move into the partnering role, Susan was the perfect choice. She'll ensure that the benefits of this agreement on paper get translated into reality for customers."

As vice president and general manager for Global Strategic Partners, Heystee oversees Novell's relationships with IBM, HP, Dell and, now, Microsoft.

Heystee will oversee the multiple facets of the Microsoft agreement, including technical cooperation efforts on virtualization, web services management and document compatibility, the business relationship around Microsoft distribution of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscriptions, and joint marketing and sales cooperation.

Heystee joined Novell in March 2004 as vice president and area general manager for the Midwest and was promoted in Aug. 2005 to president, Novell Americas, overseeing sales, consulting and customer support for Novell in the region.

Prior to joining Novell, she held senior positions with SSA global and Baan, where she was executive vice president, worldwide sales and delivery and also served as president, Baan Americas.

"We see this agreement with Microsoft as a fundamental step forward for Linux, and we're strongly committed to driving Linux more firmly into enterprise environments, from the desktop to the data center," said Heystee.

"For customers who want to use both Linux and Windows, we're going to make life significantly easier. We know customers, partners and the community are looking for concrete results from this agreement, and I'm excited to help deliver those results."