Novell has appointed a new European president.

Volker Smid, who has been Novell's central European general manager since May 2005, will supervise Novell's sales and consulting business for EMEA. Smid replaces Tom Francese, who took over as Novell's executive vice president for worldwide sales in October.

Novell is trying to catch up with market-leading Linux vendor Red Hat by move its NetWare customers onto its Linux offering. The company bought Suse Linux in 2004.

Novell also forged a controversial deal with Microsoft last month that includes making Windows and Suse Linux more compatible and indemnifying Suse Linux users and some developers from potential patent lawsuits from Microsoft.

Novell's revenue has continued to fall amid efforts to retool its business, although the company has returned to profitability.

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