Money talks as top exec walks: Screw-ups pay off

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What’s the reward for failure in Waltham these days?

If you’re Jack Messman, who was ousted yesterday as boss of local software company Novell, it’s not too shabby.

Several million dollars, in fact.

Under his contract, Messman, who was kicked out by the board yesterday for poor performance, will get severance that starts at $1.9 million.

They will also pay him cash for 6.5 million share options, which had a value of $13.7 million at the end of the last fiscal year.

It’s simply one sign of the troubling corporate governance at Novell, which tries to make money by selling open-source Linux software.

Linux is booming everywhere, but somehow Novell has missed out.

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