It’s been an open secret that controversial SCO CEO Darl McBride was being forced out. Now, in an interview with the Salt Lake City Tribune, McBride admits that his days at SCO are numbered.
In the interview, McBride said, “Clearly when we draw up a battle plan for what we’ve been working for the last several years, trying to get SCO’s intellectual rights fought through in the courts and the marketplace, the endgame didn’t have this sort of outcome for me personally.”
It was under McBride’s leadership that SCO launched its kamikaze attack on IBM, Novell, and the Linux community and business at large on the grounds that Linux had violated SCO’s Unix IP (intellectual property) rights. SCO was never able to prove any of its IP claims in courts. What finally drove the company into bankruptcy was the continued decline of its Unix business, the costs of its never-ending lawsuits and—the final straw—a U.S. District Court ruling that Novell, and not SCO, actually owned Unix’s IP.
Stephen Norris & Co. Capital Partners has offered to bail SCO out with a $5 million injection of cash and loans of up to an additional $95 million. One of its conditions, though, is that McBride resign immediately after the deal is completed and approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
In response, McBride told the Salt Lake Tribune, “I realized that by my winning the fight of staying engaged at SCO, it may be the huge detriment of shareholders, customers and employees.”
McBride agreed to this interview after SCO filed its Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan Feb. 29, which includes the Stephen Norris & Co. buyout.
The capital venture company seems intent on continuing SCO’s Linux lawsuits, even though there appears to be no realistic chance of success. Some have speculated that Stephen Norris & Co., with its close ties to Bill Gates, wishes to pursue the legal actions simply as a way of annoying the Linux companies and spreading FUD about Linux.
No matter what the motivation or what actions the new SCO will take, it will be doing so without McBride. However, he won’t be leaving empty-handed. In addition to his CEO pay, McBride received a 70 percent bonus in 2007 on his base salary of $265,000. His total compensation for the year that SCO sank into bankruptcy was $571,220.