Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 4th Feb 2010 23:12 UTC
Oracle and SUN Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz, an advocate of Web 2.0, used Twitter early Thursday to announce his resignation. He was named CEO in 2006 as Sun faced a switch in strategic direction away from proprietary systems and toward open source code, including its valued Solaris 10 operating system. "Today's my last day at Sun. I'll miss it", he said in a tweet to his followers, reported the New York Times on its Web site at 1:12 a.m. Thursday. He added a bit of haiku: "Financial crisis, Stalled too many customers, CEO no more."
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end of an era
by project_2501 on Thu 4th Feb 2010 23:46 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

end of an era .. sad to say but not many Oracle execs with ponty tails and geek cred.

Reply Score: 4

RE: end of an era
by tylerdurden on Fri 5th Feb 2010 02:52 UTC in reply to "end of an era"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Unfortunately or fortunately (whatever the case may be) shareholders take the ability to run a business and make money over pony tails and "geek creed (I personally don't consider Schwartz to have any geek creed, but that is obviously subjective) as qualifications for an executive team.

Edited 2010-02-05 02:54 UTC

Reply Score: 4

"Financial crisis." Yeah, sure.
by abcxyz on Fri 5th Feb 2010 00:35 UTC
abcxyz
Member since:
2009-07-30

Rather lame excuse, esp. since the company was on its knees months before the "crisis" whose onset was rather a blessing having something to blame it on.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Rather lame excuse, esp. since the company was on its knees months before the "crisis" whose onset was rather a blessing having something to blame it on.


Agreed. Sun pretty much has been on their knees since the end of the dot-con boom - their lack of delivering a cohensive product line up to compete with Microsoft, IBM and HP was pretty pronounced given that all the individual components for competitive offers are available but Sun is unable to bring them together and deliver to the customer. The best example - what was Sun's alternative to the 'Office System'? Well, they had OpenOffice.org, Alfresco and the Alfresco plugin but did we see them deliver such a package under the rubric of the 'Sun OpenOffice System'? no we didn't. That is but one of many examples of Sun not able to get their act together.

The problem lay with management - and what was their solution when they hit troubled times? thats right! lets fire engineer after engineer after engineer - you know, the people who actually make the products! They some how believe that these products will magically make themselves with no input of engineers. When you look at the list of things that need to be done with Solaris what they needed were more engineers/programmers and less papers shufflers.

Reply Score: 4

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

The company would be far more profitable today if he had just taken Sun's assets and invested them in a spider account instead of a bunch of open source products that could have been forked.

Goodbye douchebag, may Schwartz forever be an example of how you can't run a company on fuzzy feelings.

Reply Score: 2

Fake Steve Jobs
by Macrat on Fri 5th Feb 2010 00:55 UTC
Macrat
Member since:
2006-03-27

Summed it up rather nicely

http://www.fakesteve.net/2010/02/my-little-pony-offers-resignation-...

Edited 2010-02-05 00:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Fake Steve Jobs
by dnstest on Fri 5th Feb 2010 09:08 UTC in reply to "Fake Steve Jobs"
dnstest Member since:
2006-06-11

My Little Pony... LOL ;) The guy always seemed to be all hype.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Fake Steve Jobs
by REM2000 on Fri 5th Feb 2010 09:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Fake Steve Jobs"
REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

i agree, wasn't he the one who annouced the apple zfs integration ahead of steve jobs making the who thing turn a bit sour?

When he came in 2006 he seemed to be full of ideas and exciting ways to move the company forward, it just seems he didn't act on them and simply let the company carry on as it had been firing the talent and keeping the managers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Fake Steve Jobs
by tylerdurden on Fri 5th Feb 2010 17:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Fake Steve Jobs"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

To be fair to Mr. Schwartz, ZFS is a SUN technology. I honestly found Apple's decision to not further the implementation, due to SUN stealing the thunder from the announcement of a technology which did not belong to them (apple)... to be the pinnacle of entitlement.

Labeling OSX as the "most advanced OS" while in reality being one of the few remaining (if not the one) major OS still carrying on with one of the most pathetic filesystem technologies... is laughable. And I think not even die hard Apple fans are even buying that flavor of kool-aid anymore. That little stunt by Mr. Jobs may very well have cost Apple's any significant presence in the data center for the foreseeable future.


Probably the main fault of SUN's former CEO was that he was a relative nice guy, in a strata of our society which seems to consider being a sociopath as a requirement for qualification. However, it still does not excuse the fact that he did not understand that SUN's issues were not solely of the technical persuasion (they did have great technologies and very very good technical staff)... SUN's woes were mostly due to the fact that their business people could not market their way out of a wet paper bag. However, SUN decided to concentrate their cuts on the tech side, while keeping the legion of useless suits. I am sure Oracle is buying a turbo charged weed whacker to get rid of all the dead weight in SUN's marketing.

Edited 2010-02-05 17:43 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Let's Jump
by segedunum on Fri 5th Feb 2010 19:11 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Resigning via Twitter. Fabulous.

The rats are jumping the ship now they've got their golden payoffs as a result of the takeover. It's all Oracle's problem now.

Edited 2010-02-05 19:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

perplexing..
by reflect on Fri 5th Feb 2010 19:15 UTC
reflect
Member since:
2007-07-10

For someone with the vision to opensource most of their software.. and thus creating a more diverse ecosphere, it is kind of interesting to read the comments here. If you can do nothing else than to call someone names, well.. buzz off.

With every software that was opensourced, the world was made richer. Others could continue the work, no matter what happens with Sun. I for one, applaud that, at least.

Reply Score: 3

RE: perplexing..
by nt_jerkface on Fri 5th Feb 2010 22:58 UTC in reply to "perplexing.."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Are you going to applaud him for driving down shareholder value? A lot of people lost their savings in Sun.

Executives have a primary responsibility to shareholders, he should have been plugging FOSS on his own time.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: perplexing..
by tylerdurden on Sat 6th Feb 2010 19:58 UTC in reply to "RE: perplexing.."
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

If you put all your savings on stock from a single company, it is a boneheaded investment approach. I fail to see how people's bad investment strategies are the fault of others but themselves.

Furthermore, the stock of SUN actually gained value after the acquisition. So with this exit strategy the SUN board actually did what they were supposed to do from a value proposition to their shareholders.

Of course, you "knew" all of this right? Or are you one of the legion of people who haven't looked at SUN's financials, or have no idea of where their real pain points where.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: perplexing..
by nt_jerkface on Mon 8th Feb 2010 11:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: perplexing.."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

If you put all your savings on stock from a single company, it is a boneheaded investment approach. I fail to see how people's bad investment strategies are the fault of others but themselves.


What does this have to do with the CEO's responsibility to shareholders?


Furthermore, the stock of SUN actually gained value after the acquisition. So with this exit strategy the SUN board actually did what they were supposed to do from a value proposition to their shareholders.

The stock gained because the company is no longer in the hands of incompetent people.


Of course, you "knew" all of this right? Or are you one of the legion of people who haven't looked at SUN's financials, or have no idea of where their real pain points where.

I knew Sun was doomed when Schwartz claimed that being open is more important than having a business model.

I have blogged about this before. Here's my recent post which contains a look the stock from the point when he was hired:
http://www.jfplayhouse.com/2010/02/adios-el-douche.html

Reply Score: 2

RE: perplexing..
by segedunum on Tue 9th Feb 2010 02:02 UTC in reply to "perplexing.."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

If you can do nothing else than to call someone names, well.. buzz off.

I'm sure the payoff for failure Mr. Pony Tail is getting will more than offset any name calling.

Reply Score: 2

Haikus
by Moochman on Fri 5th Feb 2010 21:40 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

open source is great
so thanks for all the freebies!
but no strategy

oracle's huge and
kind of proprietary
sun code, please don't die

sun microsystems
was an awesome company
they will be missed much

pony tails are cool
jon, i salute your vain try
at bringing them back

Edited 2010-02-05 21:41 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Good riddance
by nt_jerkface on Fri 5th Feb 2010 22:49 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

Paying 1 billion for MySQL was one of the biggest bone-headed moves I've ever seen in the tech world.

His plan was to open source everything and then figure out how to charge later didn't work out so well. You knew Sun was screwed with mr. pony tail said he didn't have a business plan but knew that open sourcing everything was the key. Yea key to getting bought out by a proprietary company which makes billions from a single product.

This is what happens when you hire a FOSS evangelist who thinks his hippie idealism is above traditional business models.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Good riddance
by kaiwai on Fri 5th Feb 2010 23:01 UTC in reply to "Good riddance"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Paying 1 billion for MySQL was one of the biggest bone-headed moves I've ever seen in the tech world.


When I saw the buy out I asked myself, "and where is the $1billion dollars worth of value coming from?" - and I ask that question today, what did they use to justify paying $1billion for MySQL?

His plan was to open source everything and then figure out how to charge later didn't work out so well. You knew Sun was screwed with mr. pony tail said he didn't have a business plan but knew that open sourcing everything was the key. Yea key to getting bought out by a proprietary company which makes billions from a single product.

This is what happens when you hire a FOSS evangelist who thinks his hippie idealism is above traditional business models.


Not just the lack of a business plan but a complete lack of how to address customer needs - he some how things that throwing some open source projects against a wall will some how bring in the customers. Customers want solutions not a mish-mash open source projects projectile vomited at them with the tag line, "but its open!".

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good riddance
by Moochman on Sat 6th Feb 2010 13:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Good riddance"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Not just the lack of a business plan but a complete lack of how to address customer needs - he some how things that throwing some open source projects against a wall will some how bring in the customers. Customers want solutions not a mish-mash open source projects projectile vomited at them with the tag line, "but its open!".


Mostly agree, except for the part about not having solutions for customer needs. Sun had the solutions. Solaris, MySQL, ZFS, zones, and Java on the server, Solaris, OpenOffice, VirtualBox, ZFS and Java on the desktop, plenty of useful web technology like GlassFish, JSF and JavaFX. Problem was, they didn't sell it right/at all--which is basically what your statement about "projectile vomiting" is getting at.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good riddance
by kaiwai on Sun 7th Feb 2010 03:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good riddance"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Mostly agree, except for the part about not having solutions for customer needs. Sun had the solutions. Solaris, MySQL, ZFS, zones, and Java on the server, Solaris, OpenOffice, VirtualBox, ZFS and Java on the desktop, plenty of useful web technology like GlassFish, JSF and JavaFX. Problem was, they didn't sell it right/at all--which is basically what your statement about "projectile vomiting" is getting at.


Well, they aren't really solutions - they're pieces of technology. Solutions are when I come to you as a sales person and say, "I see that you want a system where you can collaboratively work together on documents. Microsoft has a product called the Office system, however, our product 'OpenOffice.org System' is lower cost and open standards based which gives you flexibility and portability if you the future you wish to change vendors". It is about getting these pieces of technology and delivering a solution to the customer in a coherent out of the box way - the situation right now is that the customer is given this list of technologies which give very little clarity. What you want instead is metaphorical shelf full of solutions that bring together these technologies under key brands - "OpenOffice.org System" which would bring together a number of technologies to deliver an end to end office system.

Virtualbox should be marketed with OpenSolaris as an enterprise desktop operating system, get rid of HAL, improve hardware and software support, create an easy to use IDE which allow drag and drop, quick and dirty solutions that not only equal but are superior to Visual Studio. Virtualbox marketed as the half way house to the full transition away from Windows - heck, work with wine so that there are improve compatibility, buy out mainsoft and give away their development tools for free so that win32 applications can be ported to UNIX easily if they (the customer who has the custom inhouse application) do have the source code.

So many possibilities and not a single one of them coming to fruition - and what annoys me the most, I'm of average intelligence and yet I see employees within Sun who could do the above but don't. Would I love to work for sun and institute some of these ideas? sure - but you try getting a job interview with them!

Edited 2010-02-07 03:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Good riddance
by tylerdurden on Tue 9th Feb 2010 02:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good riddance"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

That is because being an armchair CEO is too easy. If you had actual expertise, education, or concrete track record in an area of interest for SUN... it should not have been such a daunting task to have at least obtained a job interview with them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Good riddance
by kaiwai on Tue 9th Feb 2010 05:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good riddance"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

That is because being an armchair CEO is too easy. If you had actual expertise, education, or concrete track record in an area of interest for SUN... it should not have been such a daunting task to have at least obtained a job interview with them.


Mate, when Steve Jobs took over Apple it was in the worst shape in its corporate history and yet here we are 12 years later with Apple not only growing but thriving even in the weak economic climate. Please, stop this defeatist, "its all too hard" attitude that seems to permeate every manager within Sun. If you have such a defeatist attitude of course you're going to fail every time you try to do something. Good lord, I remember hearing about how 'hard' it was to open source Java because of 'internal politics'! come on man! if you're the manager of the division - if you say open source the only response should be "how much of it can we legally do?".

If you had actual expertise, education, or concrete track record


Yeah, and the current managers have those qualifications going by the outstanding stellar achievements they've done so far, because the current array of people they're choosing from seem to be delivering on their acclaimed "expertise, education, or concrete track record". Please, in all due respect - shut the hell up. You can crap on about "expertise, education, or concrete track record" till the cows come home but not a single Sun manager has stepped up to the plate and substantiate their acclaimed "expertise, education, or concrete track record". Its all written, all paper, all bullshit - all hot air with little substance to back up what they claim are their qualifications.

Edited 2010-02-09 05:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good riddance
by segedunum on Tue 9th Feb 2010 01:58 UTC in reply to "Good riddance"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

This is what happens when you hire a FOSS evangelist who thinks his hippie idealism is above traditional business models.

He wasn't much of a FOSS evangelist because he talked a lot about open sourcing things with no rhyme or reason and no strategy whatsoever. There are plenty of companies making money from FOSS with sensible strategies. Mr. Pony Tail didn't have one because he didn't understand FOSS or how it would relate to Sun. He was just playing catch up to Linux and FOSS eating Sun's lunch.

Reply Score: 2