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Tod Nielsen to Leave BEA This Week

Tod Nielsen to Leave BEA This Week

Related Links:
  • Ellison: Acquisition Strategy "Only Way to Survive"

    BEA Systems' chief marketing officer, Tod Nielsen, is quitting the corporate software company effective Thursday this week, according to a regulatory filing.

    BEA Systems  said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that Nielsen would leave to "pursue other interests." BEA Systems representatives could not be immediately reached for comment. In recent after-hours trades, the company's shares dipped 0.7 percent to $6.93. The stock closed the regular session higher by 2.2 percent at $6.98.

    Well known for his view that J2EE development was too complex, keeping it out of the hands of everyone but the most skilled and expensive developers, Nielsen's mantra was that - given the universal need for reducing costs and the current profile of most information technology developers - "complexity can kill."

    Last November he wrote: "What's more, the pace of commercializing J2EE innovation needs to accelerate in order for J2EE to meet customers' needs, stay ahead of competitive technologies and maintain its standardization. In the same way the ease of VisualBasic unleashed Windows applications development, routine J2EE development tasks need to become less elite and more mainstream."

    Nielsen has served as BEA's Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer since November 2001, having joined the company in August 2001 as Senior Vice President, Developer Programs in connection with BEA's acquisition of CrossGain Corporation, a software development company.

    From July 2000 to July 2001, he was CrossGain's CEO. From 1988 to July 2000, he was employed by Microsoft, where he held various management positions, rising to Vice President, Platform Group and Vice President, Developer Relations.

    In 2003, according to the San Jose, CA-based company's DEF 14A filing, Nielsen received a salary from BEA of $300,000, a bonus of $190,940, and 1 million stock options - more than doubling his cash compensation from BEA for 2002.

    His departure follows that of Scott Dietzen, BEA's former CTO, then Adam Bosworth, its chief architect - in addition to Scott Edgington, vice president of worldwide channels and alliances, and Rick Jackson, senior vice president of product marketing, who is now chief marketing officer at Borland.

    BEA's embattled CEO Alfred Chuang was presumably already apprised of Nielsen's plans when he said - during a conference call last week to report the company's financial results -  "There may be some further changes." Chuang added that BEA has "taken those into account in our planning. This is a very strong company with more than 3,000 employees."

    Chuang himself is leading BEA's newly reorganized product development team, whose immediate aims include "hardening" WebLogic 8.1 to improve scalability, reliability, and performance and shipping the core 9.0 WebLogic Platform in the first half of next year.

    Amid all this staff-turnover turmoil, speculation has inevitably resumed that BEA will become a takeover target by Oracle. Larry Ellison is on record as saying that he would like to buy BEA - but only at the right price.

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    JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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