Novell's board of directors has ousted chairman and chief executive officer Jack Messman and chief financial officer Joseph Tibbetts in a move to accelerate growth at the company, Novell announced Thursday.

Ron Hovsepian, Novell's president and chief operating officer, was given the CEO title in addition to his existing duties. Dana Russell, Novell's vice president of finance, was made interim CFO until a replacement is found.

The changes are effective immediately, Novell said.

Messman, who is 66 and led the company through its transition to an open-source based strategy, will remain on Novell's board until the end of October, the company said.

The board concluded that the management change would be "the best way to accelerate the execution of our growth strategy and build value for shareholders," Novell said.

Thomas Plaskett, a director at Novell since 2002, will take over as chairman. Hovsepian, 45, was made a Novell board member.

Messman and Tibbetts made no comment about their departures in Novell's statement. Plaskett said the board was grateful for their services.